It hasn't been a good couple of years for workers General Motors' Orion Assembly, home to the Buick Verano and Chevrolet Sonic. Last year, GM laid off 150 workers. This was followed by GM eliminating a shift at the plant this year due to weak demand for small cars. Yesterday, another dose of bad news hit the plant.
Both Automotive News and Detroit Free Press report a $245 investment announced last year for the plant has been shifted to GM's Fairfax, Kansas - home to the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse production.
A GM spokeswoman tells Automotive News that workers were told about the investment shift back in January.
The switch is “part of our ongoing product allocation process to build vehicles as cost-effectively as possible to benefit our customers and the business,” a spokeswoman went on to say.
The investment is for a new vehicle, although GM is keeping quiet. As we reported last year, the vehicle could be a small crossover for Cadillac.
The Detroit Free Press notes that Orion will also phase out production of the Verano beginning this fall. Several production-forecasting firms believe Verano production will move down to Mexico.
Not changing is the production of Chevrolet Bolt at Orion. The plant has begun to build pre-production models, with production models expected to roll off the line sometime in the fourth quarter.