General Motors has announced plans to extend its annual summer shutdown as some of its U.S. plants as car sales continue to slide. The company will idle two of its car assembly plants as long as five weeks over the summer as an attempt to better align its inventory with shifting consumer demand toward SUVs.
The company’s Lordstown, Ohio and Fairfax, Kansas assembly plants are the two slated for extended shutdowns. Lordstown, which produces the Chevrolet Cruze sedan, will be down for five weeks starting this month. The shutdown comes despite sales of the Cruze up about 36 percent for the year, but the increase is largely due to the new hatchback version that is produced in Mexico.
GM eliminated a third production shift at Lordstown back in November to better align supply and demand of the Cruze.
GM’s Fairfax plant produces the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu sedans. It too will go offline for five weeks starting later this month. Sales of both the LaCrosse and Malibu are down year-over-year as consumers shift aware from midsize sedans as a whole.
Aside from confirming the shutdown plans, GM has not elaborated or confirmed the reasoning. As of June 1 the company reported a U.S. inventory supply of 95 days, which is considered high for the company. It is worth noting that the 95-day supply is a reduction from the inventory level the company reported on May 1.