Production Pullback for GM’s Second Best-selling Model

The equinox, which arrives dutifully every spring and fall, represents a harmonious balance between day and night, light and darkness, but it also signals a return to the imbalance that reigns for the remainder of the year. For Chevrolet’s perennially popular Equinox crossover, current production rates are not harmonious with what GM expects to come.

Which is why the automaker plans to throttle back on building, both south of the border and north of it. Plants in Mexico and Canada will see a production haircut following some crystal ball action on the part of the company.

In terms of impact to jobs, Mexico’s San Luis Potosí assembly plant stands to take a harder hit. The facility, which builds Chevy’s Equinox, Trax, and GMC’s Terrain, will move from three shifts to two, Automotive News reports, with the cut occurring on August 12th.

The automaker claims the pullback results from “variations in the industry forecast in different export markets.”

For workers at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which solely builds the Equinox, the impact will be seen in production shutdowns and temporary layoffs. The first of the anticipated shutdowns will take place starting September 30th. “In keeping with GM’s strategy to align production with market demand, on August 1 CAMI employees were advised of an upcoming down week,” GM spokeswoman Jacqueline Thomson told AN via email. “No additional scheduling decisions have been confirmed at this time.”

Unifor Local 88, which represents the CAMI workers, suggests more downtime will follow, using the term “weeks” in describing the shutdowns scheduled for the latter part of 2019.

If you were to look at the Equinox’s sales performance in the U.S., you’d be hard-pressed to see any bad news. Last year was by far the model’s best sales year in that country. GM sold some 332,621 of the compact CUVs in 2018, and sales over the first half of 2019 show an 11.4 percent gain.

That said, analysts and automakers alike predict a reduction in industry-wide sales volume this year, to say nothing of the near future. At some point, perhaps soon, the Equinox will peak. In Canada, it seems the high water mark has already been reached. North of the border, the best sales year for the Equinox was 2017. The first half of this year saw the model’s fortunes decline 17 percent.

Even before the downtime and shift cut announcement, production levels were on the wane in Ingersoll and San Luis Potosí, AN reports. The publication’s data center reveals a production reduction of 12 percent at the Mexican plant during the first half of the year; CAMI saw a reduction of 1.2 percent.

shared from TTAC

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