GM to add 220 Michigan jobs, retain 680

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Wednesday it will add about 220 new jobs and retain another 680 at Michigan facilities in the next year, a pledge it makes as President Donald J. Trump visits Michigan for the first time since taking office and will meet with automakers.

The Detroit automaker said the 220 new jobs will be added at its Romulus Powertrain Plant to boost production of the 10-speed transmission used in multiple vehicles. The carmaker also said it will retain about 180 jobs at its Flint Assembly Plant for production of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. It is redeploying workers from Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant.

The company also said it will bring back about 500 jobs at its Lansing Delta Township plant in the first quarter next year to support production of the new generation Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave SUVs after they have fully launched. Last week, GM announced it will lay off the third shift at the plant in May, affecting about 1,100 hourly and salaried workers, when the old version of the GMC Acadia, the Acadia Limited, ends production. The new generation Acadia was shifted to GM’s Spring Hill Assembly Plant in Tennessee.

“The job commitments announced today demonstrate the confidence we have in our products, our people and an overall positive outlook for the auto industry and the U.S. economy,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

The Detroit automaker said the new and retained jobs are in addition to adding or retaining 7,000 U.S. jobs and investing $1 billion in U.S. facilities it announced in January. Those positions include more than 5,000 new salaried jobs, a significant portion of which will be in southeast Michigan.

Barra is among a group of CEOs and senior executives from many automakers who will meet with Trump at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township. Trump likely will press automaker CEOs for more U.S. and Michigan jobs. He tweeted earlier Wednesday that he was heading to Detroit, Michigan, “for a big meeting on bringing back car production to State and U.S. Already happening!”

Trump has criticized automakers for building cars in Mexico and shipping them back across the U.S. border for sale. But none of the jobs GM is adding or retaining are coming back from Mexico; they are instead driven by a boost in truck and SUV sales and demand for more efficient transmissions.

GM has cut several shifts from car plants to match supply with weakening sedan demand. In November, GM announced it would cut the third shifts in January at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant and its Lordstown Assembly Plant in northeastern Ohio to help meet falling customer demand for small cars. It also will ax the second shift at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant this month, cutting some 1,300 jobs. Those layoffs were slated to begin this week.

(313) 222-2319

Twitter: MBurden_DN