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LG Energy Solution Layoffs: EV Battery Maker Preps Michigan Staff Cuts

November 14, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

LG Energy Solution layoffs will impact roughly 170 employees between December 2023 and January 2024, The Holland Sentinel of Michigan reported.

The layoffs appear to involve LG Energy Solution Michigan, which was was founded in 2020 as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The subsidiary develops EV (electric vehicle) batteries for U.S. automakers. Key customers include Volvo, Stellantis, Ford and General Motors.

Charles Hyun, LG Energy Solution Michigan President
Charles Hyun, president, LG Energy Solution Michigan

LG's Michigan plant has 1,500 workers, according to Korea JoongAng Daily, so the job cuts will impact roughly 11% of staff, quick math suggests.

LG President of Michigan Charles Hyun announced the layoffs in a November 13, 2023, email to staff, The Holland Sentinel said. The email stated: "As we continue our mass expansion and renovations, LG Energy Solution Michigan is transitioning and retooling some production lines from our current production facility to our second factory within our Holland site. As a result, less staff will be needed as some production lines are transitioned."

The job cuts surface roughly one month after LG Energy Solution and Toyota Motor North America in October 2023 announced plans to partner in powering new EV battery modules out of Holland, Michigan.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Market: Growing But Under Pressure

What triggered the job cuts? The EV market is still growing rapidly -- but not as rapidly as EV automakers expected. As a result, multiple suppliers are rethinking staffing and production levels. For instance, SK Battery is planning to furlough workers and cut production at a battery plant in Jackson County, Georgia, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Meanwhile, some companies in the EV charging market also faces growth and/or profitability challenges. The fallout so far includes:

Moreover, bankruptcies in the electric vehicle market are piling up. Examples include WM Motors of China, as well as Lordstown Motors and Proterra.

And on a somewhat related note, Volkswagen is planning layoffs in its Cariad software unit -- which is core to the company's EV and AI strategy.

Green Job Market: Still Growing Despite Scattered Layoffs

Meanwhile, the overall sustainability job market remains strong -- as businesses seek employees to fill green IT, renewable energy, and energy transition jobs.

Indeed, demand for green jobs in the United States has grown roughly 50% since 2019, according to Lightcast. In response, companies such as AccentureEYGoodwill and Microsoft have launched green jobs training programs.

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