Could GM’s Plans To Idle US Production Affect Their Plants In Mexico Too?
Published December 31, 2016
This has been an odd year in the North American vehicle sales and production market from start to finish. Sales are flagging across the board for sedans and hatchbacks as well as coupes. Meanwhile, SUV and pickup trucks are seeing a nearly unprecedented boom. Now it looks like GM is following Ford’s lead by setting production plants to idle in response to the sames market.
Starting in January 2017, five GM plants are scheduled to take a few weeks away from building vehicles. There’s also an entire production shift being cancelled at the Detroit-Hamtrack plant. This is the location where the Buick Lacrosse, Cadillac CT6, and the Chevrolet Volt are assembled. With just this one shift being removed from their schedule, more than 1300 people’s jobs will be affected.
GM is taking strides to minimize the impact on its workers by creating jobs at other nearby plants. This will be difficult when the same plant is taking a three week break from assembly in January like four other locations.
Others affected include the Ohio Lordstown plant (Chevy Cruze) and Kentucky’s Bowling Green (Corvette). These are both taking a single week stoppage while the Fairfax plant in Kansas City (Chevy Malibu) is taking three. Lasing Grand River is taking a two week break from assembling the Camaro and the Cadillac CTS and ATS.
Right now there are too many vehicles sitting on dealership lots and in storage for the company to continue. Reports are listing their stock at 105 days worth of vehicles which is well above the standard benchmark. Some of the affected models are already over supplied while others are expected to see a downturn in demand.
This could very well lead to GM sending their smaller vehicles to foreign plants just like Ford has been doing. This could lead to the larger vehicles that are in demand coming back to the US. With the vehicles that have a lower demand being in Mexico, downturns like this wouldn’t affect American workers. It would also bring the more secure vehicle range back to the US where it could ensure job security.
GM is already starting to follow Ford’s lead in this odd year of vehicle sales and demand metrics. What do you think the next step should be to protect their interests in the US workforce? Is the solution to send the small vehicles that start and stop production to Mexico and bring the more reliable sellers back to America? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below because we’d love to hear them.
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