We think he won't be amused.
We don’t know how president-elect Donald Trump will react to the news that GM laid off 2,000 workers at plants in Ohio and Michigan. According to Bloomberg, the third shift at the company's Lansing, Michigan, factory will be cut. That plant makes the Camaro. A shift at its factory in Lordstown, Ohio, will also be dropped. That factory builds the Cruze. While the automaker sees the layoffs as permanent Bloomberg talked to a spokesman for the company, Tom Wickham, who said that the workers may be able to openings at other factories.
At issue is, you guessed it, the fact that small cars and sports cars aren’t able to compete with crossovers, trucks and SUVs in terms of sales. According to GM’s most recent sales report both the Camaro and Cruze are down considerably when compared to this time last year. The Camaro has suffered a 9% drop and Cruze sales are down 19.9%. From an automaker’s perspective it makes sense to shift production of small cars to Mexico (Ford) and flagship muscle cars to Canada (Dodge). The dollar is much stronger than the Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar, making it cheaper to pay workers in both countries. The news of these layoffs is bound to piss off voters in both Michigan and Ohio, two states that went Republican during the election.
Michigan was barely won by Trump, whereas the business mogul won Ohio by a comfortable margin of 52.1% to 43.5%. Since these layoffs happened in states that went for Trump we have to think that the president-elect will be giving GM a call, or at least drafting an email. This should be welcome news to Ford, which was previously the American automaker that most most drew the Donald’s ire.