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GM temporarily idles 2 plants on slow demand
Monday October 27, 10:56 am ET
GM to idling Michigan and Kentucky plants for a week due to slowing demand for vehicles

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. will temporarily close two factories for one week each in the coming months to keep inventory in line with lower demand, the company said Monday.

Spokesman Tony Sapienza said the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant will be idled for one week starting Nov. 24. The factory employs 1,785 people and makes the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS sedans.

A factory in Bowling Green, Ky., that makes Chevrolet Corvettes and the Cadillac XLR sports cars will be idled the week of Dec. 1. The plant employs about 900 workers. GM previously said that the Cadillac assembly line will be shut down that week.

Lucerne and DTS sales are each down 32 percent through the first nine months of the year. Cadillac XLR sales are off 26 percent and Corvette sales are off 9 percent.

The plants are scheduled to reopen after the one-week shutdowns.

GM has made announcements cutting more than 4,300 factory jobs in the past two weeks due to the shrinking U.S. auto market.

It also extended the temporary shutdown of its Wilmington, Del., assembly plant for three more weeks because of slow demand for the vehicles it makes. The factory's 1,500 workers make the Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT two-seat roadsters. The plant will be idled starting this week and reopen the first week of December.

GM said earlier this month that it will cut the plant's second shift starting Dec. 8, indefinitely laying off 400 workers.

In addition to cutting the second shift at Wilmington, GM announced earlier this month that about 700 workers at its pickup truck plant in Pontiac will be furloughed starting Feb. 1, and another 500 at the Detroit-Hamtramck sedan factory will be laid off starting Jan. 12.

The automaker also announced it would shutter its metal parts stamping factory near Grand Rapids by the end of 2009, costing 1,520 jobs. It also sped up the end of SUV production at its Janesville, Wis., plant to Dec. 23, eliminating another 1,200 positions.

Full article here: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081027/gm_factories.html?.v=1
 

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While this is not good news, it's barely suprising. Cars like the Corvette and XLR are "toys" to most buyers anyway and would be the first expenditure cut by most households, even wealthy ones. The DTS/ Lucerne are part of that breed of cars that has been contracting for some years now. The MKS has probably taken some sales from them as well. But sales of the MKS are already slowing. In July about 2,000 were sold, August about 2200, but in September sales fell to 1800.

I wonder if this will change GM's decision to continue production of the DTS ? I can see why the Lucerne would continue, being one of only two cars Buick has left. But with all the new stuff coming to Cadillac, is the DTS necessary? And remember, the DTS has a fairly high fleet-percentage. So the number selling at retail is becomiing very small indeed.
 

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Cami Automotive in ingersoll ontario (Builds Nox's,Torrents, XL7) have only worked or will work 4 weeks in the last 3 months of this year, including another two weeks downtime in jan. Maybe another shift gets cut..?

This whole region (SW ontario) has taken an ass-kicking in the manu sector, its really unfortunate...
 

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Unemployment is still not all that bad and most people who can really afford $50K+ toys are not hurting that much. I'm sure things have slowed but people who can, don't stop buying and living.
 

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Out of curiosity, does anyone know the last time Bowling Green was "Idled" (and not for changeovers or retooling)?
 

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Unemployment is still not all that bad and most people who can really afford $50K+ toys are not hurting that much. I'm sure things have slowed but people who can, don't stop buying and living.
While true, people in general have slowed down unnecessary spending. While the average buyer of a $50k+ toy may still have money to afford such toys, it doesn't mean that they havent lost any money lately (ie stock and bonds). Whenever people lose money to something that is beyond their direct control, they will cut back spending.
 

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Here's an idea for GM - produce no 2009 models - shut everything down for a year - concentrate on Certified used vehicles and lease buy backs - retrofit and refit them, sell them for a year to keep the dealers in stock with product and start things back up when you have something new to sell - well, you won't have the Cruze (sic) or the Beat to sell so maybe you'll need two years down time - believe me - no one will even notice GM isn't building new cars or trucks.

As for the Shamaro, build out what you have orders for and then close it down. At least then the one model year will have some value. Restart in 2011 when you can find time to change the grill and tail lights and come out with an interior that looks like someone with intelligence designed.

Of course I only suggest these things like Jonathan Swift proposed the consumption of children, but the fact that so little will be coming out of GM in the way of new products makes the point extremely plausible and sensible.
 

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a lot of the corvette sales were lease deals and they are gone with the wind. these sales were to people who could not afford the regular car payments.
 
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