General Motors Thailand has begun a “voluntary separation programme” to cull 500 jobs off from its existing 3,000 plus staffs payroll, reports the Bangkok Post.
The layoff affects staffs at its sales and marketing office in Bangkok as well as the company’s two production plants in Rayong.
GM’s has two manufacturing plants in Thailand. The 180,000 vehicles per year assembly plant at Rayong's Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate manufactures various Chevrolet models including the Colorado pick-up truck, Trailblazer SUV (not available in Malaysia), Cruze sedan and Captiva SUV. The vehicles are exported across ASEAN.
It also used to manufacture the Sonic but the model has since been discontinued earlier this year after disappointing sales.
Located nearby the vehicle assembly plant is a 120,000 engines per year powertrain plant, which manufactures the Duramax diesel engines range.
Last year, GM sold 25,700 Chevrolet vehicles in Thailand, down 54 percent from 2013.
Earlier in February 2015, GM Indonesia announced that it will be shutting down its vehicle manufacturing plant in Bekasi by June this year. The Bekasi plant, one of the oldest in Indonesia, was manufacturing the Toyota Avanza-class Spin MPV, which didn’t had much success in the region.
Over in Malaysia, Naza Quest, importer of Chevrolet vehicles in Malaysia, sold only 1,792 vehicles in 2014.