Business

On heels of announcing the axing of 1,500, GM to add 700 U.S. jobs to plant building SUVs

AFP-JIJI

General Motors said Wednesday it plans to add 700 jobs in September to boost production of its popular sport-utility vehicles and models for export to Australia and New Zealand.

The decision comes less than two weeks after the company announced it was cutting as many as 1,500 positions at another factory making small cars that have seen dwindling demand.

The new jobs will be added to the facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, that makes crossovers, which comprise up 48.5 percent of the U.S. retail market.

The U.S. auto giant will add a third shift at the plant “As a result of increased market demand for the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 crossovers,” GM spokeswoman Dayna Hart said in an email to AFP.

“Industry wide, customers are increasingly purchasing crossovers, trucks and SUVs over sedans.”

The GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 both continue to show strong performance in the highly competitive crossover segment.

The plant outside Nashville, Tennessee, which has about 3,000 employees, also will build the all-new Holden Acadia in 2018 for export to Australia and New Zealand, Hart said.

The job cuts announced earlier this month were at the facility in Lordstown, Ohio, that currently builds compact sedans.

Sales of the Chevrolet Cruze have dropped 32 percent in the last four years, the company said, part of a broader trend in the U.S. that has seen consumers ignore small cars in favor larger vehicles amid low gasoline prices and a recovering economy.

Sales of small U.S. cars have fallen 13.2 percent since the start of 2018, while sales of large cars have risen seven percent, according to industry data.