The net result of the move to boost North American auto production: GM will add about 60,000 vehicles in the third and mainly the fourth quarter production forecast, ensuring a wide selection of high-quality, fuel efficient cars, crossovers and trucks for customers. To help meet the increased demand, GM is adding shifts at CAMI, Ontario, Canada, where the next generation Chevy Equinox and all-new GMC Terrain are built, and Lordstown, Ohio, where the fuel-efficient Chevy Cobalt models are assembled. GM will also offer overtime and reinstate forecast down weeks at select facilities.
“We are running our plants to maintain maximum flexibility and keep production tightly aligned with customer demand,” said Tim Lee, GM group vice president, global manufacturing and labor. “The uptick is an encouraging sign that vehicle sales are turning around, and we will ramp up quickly to meet that demand.”
In July and August, the popular “Cash for Clunkers” program generated substantial demand for a broad range of fuel efficient vehicles within GM, including the Chevy Aveo, Cobalt, HHR, Malibu, Equinox and Colorado. This latest round of production increases will go a long way in rebuilding dealer inventories to help us meet strong consumer demand.
Beyond the aforementioned models, GM also anticipates increasing production to meet the demands for its Chevy HHR and Colorado brands, as well as the GMC Canyon. Additionally, GM reports positive consumer reaction to other models—Chevy Camaro, Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon and the Buick LaCrosse—and it anticipates increased production will be necessary in those cases as well.
“It’s gratifying to see demand for our products accelerate, and we are extremely lean with inventories on our launch products like Camaro, Equinox, LaCrosse, SRX, CTS Wagon and Terrain,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. sales. “During the third quarter 2009, we’ve added production, which will result in 35% increase over the second quarter. With today’s announcement of further additions, the fourth quarter will now be at least 20% % higher than the third quarter, which is a very positive trend.”