June 1 (UPI) -- General Motors Co. announced the reduction of one shift at its Warren, Mich., transmission plant, a signal of car production cutbacks.
One of two shifts at the Warren facility will be eliminated at the end of June, potentially idling up to half of the 626 unionized hourly employees, GM spokesman Tom Wickham said Wednesday. He added that the shift reduction is tied to slowing vehicle sales and cuts in production at other GM manufacturing plants.
The Warren plant, near Detroit, builds transmissions for 11 GM models, including drive units for two electric-powered vehicles.
Wednesday's announcement is the fifth of a GM workforce cutback since November. Shifts have been eliminated at four plants, resulting in the layoff of about 5,000 workers.
Car sales have slowed in 2017 after seven consecutive years of growth. The layoff announced Wednesday is also affected by current car inventory; at the end of April, General Motors had a 97-day supply of cars waiting to be sold. It had a 64-day supply on the same date in 2016. A 60-day supply is considered an optimal level.