General Motors today confirmed the company plans to idle five U.S. assembly plants at the start of the new year to adjust inventory levels. The news comes as GM’s inventory levels are at eight-year highs and as consumer demand rapidly shifts away from sedans in favor of crossovers and SUVs.
GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kansas will both see the longest downtime at three weeks starting in January. Lansing Grand River will be down two weeks, while its third shift has also been cut. Plants in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Lordstown, Ohio will see one week downtime as part of the plan. GM also recently announced the elimination of Lordstown’s third shift.
The elimination of the third shift at Lansing Grand River and Lordstown has led to 2,000 planned layoffs.
All five assembly plants have one thing in common: they produce cars. As consumer demand shifts, GM and other automakers are having to adjust inventories and production to compensate. Supply of many GM sedans is very high; most well above 100 days supply. GM’s company-wide supply is at about 84 days, which is still high from the company’s target of 70 days.
Specific models impacted by the plant closings include: Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac ATS, CT6, CTS, Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Cruze, Impala, Malibu, and Volt.
Investors reacted negatively to today’s news, with GM shares down roughly 0.3 percent at noon.