General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has announced that it will be ending the production of six of its models amid planned factory closures. The company is shifting away from sedans in favor of pickup trucks, cross-overs, and SUVs. GM said that the move will save the company $6 billion by the end of 2020.
The closures will include five North American plants and reduce the company’s total workforce by 15 percent, affecting more than 14,000 employees. GM says that all of the factories slated to go dormant are operating well below capacity. Workers said they got no warning about the plant closures.
GM announced that it is idling the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that builds the Chevrolet Volt. The company is ending the car’s production altogether, with the last Volt rolling off the line in March. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid that GM has been producing since 2010. The car won North American Car of the Year in 2011.
Ohio’s Lordstown facility, where workers produce the Chevrolet Cruze, is also being idled. The Cruze is a gas-only sedan that uses the same platform as the Volt. The Cruze has been in production since 2008, selling 3.5 million units in its seven-year existence.
The country’s largest automaker also announced that it would be ending production of the Chevrolet Impala, the Cadillac CT6, the Cadillac XTS, and the Buick LaCrosse. For most of the models, they will be still be offered as expected for 2019 and will be sold until they run out. Some of the models being discontinued were part of a recall of more than 200,000 US vehicles a few months ago due to spongy brake pedals.