By Eric Mayne and James M. Amend
WardsAuto.com, Jul 1, 2010 2:30 PM
Despite rising demand for the Chevrolet Equinox cross/utility vehicle, General Motors Co. is unable to accelerate its plans to increase production. “If we could, we would – believe me,” Steve Carlisle, vice president-product planning says today during a sales briefing for analysts and journalists.
Also GM is scrambling to meet demand for its popular Equinox, which saw June sales shoot up 179.7%, compared with like-2009, according to Ward’s data. The auto maker is spending more than $90 million on a multi-phase initiative to boost production of the CUV and its platform-mate, the GMC Terrain.
The first phase involves line retooling and a body-shop upgrade at GM’s assembly plant in Ingersoll, ON, Canada. Output is expected to increase from 795 vehicles per day to 996 by Aug. 2.
Those improvements “are going on now,” Carlisle says, confirming next month’s target for increased output. GM also plans to squeeze an additional 300 bodies per day from Ingersoll and ship them to the auto maker’s plant in Oshawa, ON, about an hour away, for final assembly. Oshawa output is set to begin in the fall.
The Equinox’s styling, content and perceived value is “really resonating” with consumers, Campbell says during today’s briefing.
Notably, Equinox buyers are opting for a 4-cyl. engine more than 80% of the time, he adds.
The take-rate on the Terrain is 60:40 in favor of the 6-cyl. engine choice.
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