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GM to scale back production at Detroit plant

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The corporate logo of General Motors is seen at the facilities of the company in Valencia

General Motors Co (GM) said on Thursday it plans to scale back production at an assembly plant in Detroit starting later this month as it tries to deal with declining U.S. sedan sales.

The move, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, will mean layoffs for roughly 1,500 workers who build the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Volt - all sedans with relatively high inventories. "This action will help maintain more stable production", the No 1 U.S. carmaker said.

Once production resumes at the end of the downtime, the company will reduce production by about 20 percent at the plant. The decrease in production will cost about 200 employees their jobs. USA sales of the Buick LaCrosse are off 21 percent this year while demand is down 32 percent for the Impala and 6 percent for the Volt. Sales of the Volt fell 6 percent and Impala 31 percent, while sales of Cadillac's CT6 increased more than 50 percent. Shares were down 1.6 percent to $44.74 at 10:41 a.m.

GM said in a statement that effective Oct 20, its Detroit-Hamtramck plant "will operate under a reduced production schedule".

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GM and its peers have been cutting production at auto plants as consumers have rapidly shifted to buying sport utility vehicles.

GM won't comment on specific production plans, but did say it intends to keep current production in line with demand.

GM has already cut deep at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, including shedding its second shift entirely earlier this year.

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