(Reuters) - General Motors Co plans to lay off 2,000 employees at two U.S. auto plants in early 2017, the automaker said on Wednesday.

GM said it will furlough the employees when it cuts the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan plants in mid-January.

The Lordstown plant builds the compact Chevrolet Cruze, whose U.S. sales through October were down 20 percent. The Lansing Grand River plant builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS, whose sales were down 17 percent through October.

GM also said it will invest $211 million at the Lansing plant for an unspecified "new product program." The company also will invest $668 million in its Toledo transmission plant for a new generation of transmissions.

(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Chris Reese)