General Motors Co.announced on Monday that it is laying off 1,100 workers at an assembly plant in Michigan. The company is terminating the third shift at its Delta Township plant outside of Lansing, the state capital, because it is moving production of its GMC Acadia SUV to Spring Hill, Tennessee.
 
However, the Lansing plant will retain two shifts that build the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse SUV. May 12 is the scheduled last day for the third shift. Last spring, GM announced that it would build the new Acadia in Tennessee. At Spring Hill, it has added a third shift and around 800 jobs. 
GM also announced that it is selling off its interests in Vauxhall and Opel: its European subsidiaries with which it has been associated for some 80 years.
 
During his campaign, Donald Trump urged GM and other automakers to build more cars in the United States, having pledged to boost domestic manufacturing jobs and discourage industry investment in Mexico. While it announced in January a $1 billion investment in an effort to retain 1,500 US-based jobs, there has been no clarification as to which jobs are to be impacted. Trump praised the announcement. He said GM was “committed to invest billions of dollars in its American manufacturing operation, keeping many jobs here that were going to leave.  
 
“And if I didn't get elected, believe me, they would have left," he said. 
 
In November 2016, GM announced a cut of about 2,000 jobs when it terminated the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio, and Lansing Grand River plants in January. Then in December, GM announced plans to end the second shift and cut nearly 1,300 jobs from its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant this March. As Americans buy more SUVs and other large vehicles, demand for sedans and other cars has slipped, prompting the layofs. However, GM had been upping its roster of employees over the last few years. It had 105,000 U.S. employees at the end of 2016, which is an increase over the 97,000 it employed at the end of 2015, according to a company filing in February.
 


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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