GM will lay off about 160 workers starting in early 2015 at its Lake Orion Michigan small car assembly plant. In short, gas prices under $3 a gallon have trimmed demand for the Buick Verano and Chevy Sonic. The Detroit News reports GM will also lay off 350 workers at its Orion Township plant, also early next year. It builds the slow selling Cadillac ATS and CTS models. That plant will revert to a single shift until production of the new Camaro begins, sometime in the future.
The Maybach brand is not dead. Mercedes will roll out a very top of the line Maybach S 600 at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. It said the new model will “set a new benchmark for exclusivity” with a larger interior, special seats and more customer choices for customization. Other new models will include a luxury sport utility vehicle and high end limo.
It seems to be a morning for classic cars.
A 1939 Buick Model 46C that was parked by the dock at Pearl Harbor will be auctioned off next month. The car was owned by a naval officer and emerged unscathed from the Japanese attack. Over the years it has had only three owners and has been “lovingly restored.” Woltz & Associates will also auction off a 1996 Freightliner FL 80 road tractor, and a 1949 Willys convertible hot rod among other items.
A very rare Porsche 917 that Steve McQueen drove in the movie “Le Mans” back in 1970 will be displayed at a classic car show later this month in Birmingham, England. The car also won the Daytona 24 hour race and the Monza 1000km. Imagine what it would be worth if it were ever auctioned off!
It is worth noting that this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance raised a record $1.9 million for charity. The show has a tradition of charitable giving that dates back to its founding in 1950.
Falling gas prices may not be good for makers of gas sipping cars, but it might spark holiday shopping. A poll by the National Association of Convenience Stores said a majority of men say they are more likely to increase their spending now that gas prices have dropped nearly 70 cents a gallon in some place over the past four months.