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Auto blogWed, 12 Nov 2014 13:01:00 EST
General Motors is laying off about 510 workers from two factories beginning in January, and it could be months before the automaker needs some of that latent capacity to come back on line. A combination of poor sales and high dealer inventories are prompting the cutbacks, according to Automotive News.
The largest changes come at GM's Lansing Grand River plant, where the Cadillac ATS and CTS are made. An entire shift of about 350 workers is being laid off, but the automaker hopes to find positions for some of them at other nearby factories. The decision leaves just a single shift building vehicles there. According to Automotive News, the move is partially spurred by Johan de Nysschen's plan to make Cadillac a more exclusive brand.
The lost shift will likely return for production of the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro at the plant, according to the report, but GM isn't saying when that will be. A previous announcement from the Canadian Auto Workers union indicated that the Oshawa, Ontario, factory would lose the coupe in late 2015 or early 2016.
Ignored On Arrival, But Coming On Strong
An image exists out there that perfectly conveys the fate we thought would befall the Buick Encore after its world debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The shot shows the just-unveiled Encore on stage, basking in the glow of spotlights but surrounded by a large display area that's bereft of both cars and people. Two journalists are sitting on a couch over to the side, both facing the Encore but ignoring it as they inspect their swag, and a solitary custodial engineer pushes a vacuum back and forth across a sea of gray carpet.
Like a kid with his birthday cake at a party no one came to, this little crossover's debut was largely, almost cruelly, ignored. Who can blame us, though? Two shows ago, the Motor City's main stage welcomed the redesigned Aston Martin-esque Ford Fusion, the 3 Series-assassin ATS from Cadillac and the return of Dodge to the small car game with the Dart. A fourth model for the wayward Buick brand, especially one so arguably un-Buick in form and function, did not seem to deserve the attention paid to its peers that year.
If VIN tags recently posted online prove accurate, the 2014 Buick Verano may be getting a new base engine. Presently the Verano makes use of GM's 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine in non-turbo trim; 2014 documentation appears to indicate that GM's entry-level luxury compact will instead feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill.
If this is the same engine seen in Europe, GM Inside News suggests it may offer 192 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque - useful improvements over the larger naturally aspirated mill's 180 hp and 171 lb-ft. More importantly, the downsized engine would likely improve on the Verano's current fuel mileage estimates of 21 city and 31 highway.
We like the Verano in both of its current iterations, but the 1.6 turbo engine sounds like a worthwhile upgrade if this reports turns out to be true. Plus, if more performance is your bag, baby, there's always the Verano's optional 2.0 turbo engine with an impressive 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft from just 2.0 liters of displacement.