UPDATED: 4/13/18 4:46 pm ET
General Motors is cutting one of two shifts at its Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio amid stalling U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Cruze.
Up to half of the plant's roughly 3,000 workers, including 2,700 hourly, could be affected when the shift is eliminated effective June 18.
GM, to help assist employees being placed on indefinite layoffs, is offering buyouts up to around $60,000 per worker. The monetary value of the buyout package will be based on employee seniority and years of service.
GM, as it did when cutting the plant's third shift in January 2017, cited the consumer shift away from cars to crossovers for the decision to eliminate another shift.
"As the market continued to undergo historic changes, it required us to reduce production rates and take numerous down weeks to match production with lower customer demand for compact car," the company said in an emailed statement. "As we look at the market for compact cars in 2018 and beyond, we believe a more stable operating approach to match market demand is a one-shift schedule."
U.S. sales of the Cruze -- the only vehicle assembled at the Ohio plant -- fell 26 percent through March. In 2017, Cruze volume declined 2.2 percent to 184,751 units.
The Automotive News Data Center estimates that U.S. Cruze inventory at the end of March stood at 45,000 units, or a 78-day supply.
freshened 2019 Cruze goes on sale in the fall.
GM builds the Cruze sedan in Ohio and the Cruze sedan and hatchback in Mexico.
U.S. car sales are on track to decline for the fifth straight year while
light-truck demand sets records. U.S. sales of compact cars dropped 10 percent in the first quarter and 5.8 percent in 2017.
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