Michigan Automaker Lays Off 1,600 Workers Temporarily Amid Slump

Approximately 1,600 employees will be temporarily let go from Stellantis’ Warren Truck Assembly Plant, located near Detroit, Michigan, as a result of production cuts implemented by company officials.

It is common practice for automakers to conduct factory shutdowns in the summer for a week or two to perform maintenance and prepare for new models. The low sales of the Gladiator, Wagoneer, and Grand Wagoneer models, as well as the substantial stockpiles that have built up on dealer lots in recent months, are linked to the longer-term intentions to reduce the manufacturing of these vehicles.  The facility also makes the Ram 1500 Classic pickup truck.

Stellantis officials have also announced that the Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio, would be idle for six weeks in July and August, during which time production of the Jeep Gladiator will not be ramped up. Gladiator sales fell 24% year-over-year in the second quarter.

While some auto workers will be redirected to work on the Jeep Wrangler, UAW leadership has warned that other workers may be let go, according to a letter sent to UAW members.

The most recent wave of short-term layoffs and production cutbacks at Stellantis follows a series of mass layoffs that executives implemented throughout the US in an effort to outsource manufacturing to other nations.

In April, 199 full-time employees were let go from the manufacturer’s Sterling Heights, Michigan, factory. The technology, engineering, and software departments of Stellantis lost 400 employees in March as the company cited increased global competitive pressures and unprecedented uncertainty as reasons.

In March, the carmaker fired 341 supplementary employees from the Toledo, Ohio, facility that produces Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators. Additionally, it released 239 employees from a parts sequencing facility in Detroit, which is located close to the assembly factories for the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

According to Stellantis officials, the first hydrogen-powered car was launched in the United States in May. However, production of the car will take place in its Saltillo, Mexico, factory.

Stellantis employees at the Saltillo facility may receive pay as low as $2.54 per hour, according to reports.