GM Laying Off Workers at 2 Plants, Self-Driving Subsidiary 

About 2,200 total employees are affected by the moves.

GM employees assemble the Chevy Bolt at Orion Assembly in Michigan in this 2021 photo by Steve Fecht for GM.

General Motors on Dec. 14 announced it will lay off about 2,200 employees across its Cruise self-driving vehicle subsidiary and two Michigan plants where vehicle production is ending.

About 900 employees will be laid off at Cruise---nearly a quarter of the total workforce---after the company “paused operations to take time to examine our processes, systems and tools and improve how we operate,” following an Oct. 2 crash in San Francisco involving one of Cruise’s self-driving taxis and a pedestrian, who was killed, the company said in a news release.

The move means there is a “less immediate need” for field, commercial operations and corporate staff at this time, as the company slows its pursuit of commercialization of self-driving taxis to improve the vehicles’ safety.

In a letter to employees, Cruise President and CTO Mo ElShenawy said the company will simplify and focus its efforts to returning service to one city, which he did not name, before it scales any further. Before the fatal accident in San Francisco, Cruise had also been operating its taxis in Phoenix, AZ, and Austin, TX.

About 1,300 employees will be laid off between GM’s Orion Assembly plant and Lansing Grand River Assembly/Stamping, both in Michigan.

At Orion Assembly, 945 employees will be indefinitely laid off beginning Jan. 15, GM said in a notice to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Most will be able to be placed at other GM facilities.

Orion Assembly will be idled after GM announced in October that production of the all-electric versions of the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado pickups has been delayed for a year.

In another notice to the state agency, GM said 369 employees will be laid off from Lansing Grand River Assembly/Stamping, beginning Jan. 1, as GM ends production of the Chevy Camaro. 

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