GM to cut 500 jobs, eliminate shift at small-car plant near Detroit

General Motors Co. headquarters is seen in Detroit, Michigan, September 17, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.N will cut 500 jobs as a shift is eliminated at a plant near Detroit that makes weak-selling small cars, the company said on Friday.

The decision comes a day after GM said it would add 1,200 jobs and a shift at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

The shift at the small-car Lake Orion plant near Detroit will end by early next year, and the new shift at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will begin in the first quarter, GM said.

Most of the Lake Orion workers losing their jobs will be able to transfer to the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, said a GM spokesman.

The Lake Orion plant produces the Buick Verano sedan and the Chevrolet Sonic. Verano sales are down 27 percent this year and Sonic sales are off 35 percent, as low gasoline prices have helped boost demand for larger SUVs and pickup trucks.

GM has said it will make the electric small car Bolt at Lake Orion as well as a not-yet-named new product. Supplier sources have told Reuters that Verano production will cease at Lake Orion in late 2016, and shift to a plant in China.

In June, GM announced a $245 million investment at Lake Orion.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe