Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed plans to lay off 1,420 production workers at its Sterling Heights facility.
The factory had been idled for months as the Chrysler 200 — it’s only product — struggles to recover sales momentum. The company is now eliminating a shift, affecting 1,300 assembly workers and another 120 employees at an assembly plant.
Car segments have been relatively flat as crossovers and SUVs dominate market growth.
Chrysler 200 sales appear to have collapsed entering 2016, falling by 63 percent in the first three months of the year. Performance was not much better in 2015, aside from a brief surge associated with the second generation’s arrival.
“Our truck and SUV plants are running six days a week about 20 hours a day,” FCA said in a statement, as quoted by The Detroit News. “And while 1,300 people will be impacted by layoffs (at Sterling Heights Assembly), we have been able to add 11,000 hourly jobs in Michigan since 2009 to keep up with that demand.”
Coming years could bring further job cuts if FCA succeeds in outsourcing the next-generation 200′s production to another automaker.