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General Motors to lay off 1,314 Michigan employees

By Scott McClallen
The Center Square

General Motors will lay off 1,314 employees at two factories in Michigan as it stops production of certain vehicles.

The Big Three Automaker will cut 369 jobs at Lansing Grand River Assembly/Stamping and stop making the Camaro between Jan. 1 and March, according to the WARN notice.

GM filed a WARN notice posted Thursday that said it will cut 945 jobs starting Jan. 1 at its Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township.

GM planned to start making the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV next year at Orion, but will now delay the conversion of the Orion Assembly plant to EV truck production and restart the plant in late 2025 instead.

The Orion plant produced the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV crossover.

GM hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment. The automaker says it will offer employees jobs elsewhere.

Rep. Regina Weiss, D-Oak Park, chair of the Labor Caucus, said the layoffs are “outrageous.”

“These layoffs were announced not only in the middle of the holiday season, but also after GM has received hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax incentives, and following the ratification of a historic contract for better wages and benefits," Weiss said in a statement. "To then turn around and lay off workers is an unacceptable betrayal. I urge GM to reverse course and prioritize the primary driver of its business: the workers.”

The layoffs reflect a lower-than-expected demand for electric vehicles and follow automakers hitting the brakes on EVs as nearly 4,000 auto dealers urged President Joe Biden to stop mandating the EV transition as EVs are “stacking up” on lots.

However, electric vehicle drivers on road trips and going further distances in the Midwest face "range anxiety" because of a sparse charging network and a fluctuating mileage range based on driver habit.

Michigan has 34,380 electric vehicles registered but has a goal of reaching 2 million by 2030. It’s more than 1.9 million vehicles short, partly because the average price in September 2022 was $65,291. Meanwhile, the average price for a gas-powered vehicle was $48,100, and many used gas-powered cars cost between $5,000 and $15,000.

Electric vehicles should cost less to maintain over time because they have fewer moving parts and require no oil changes. However, a Wall Street Journal report found they can cost more and take longer to repair, especially when involved in an accident.

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