GM cuts back

Troubled US automotive giant General Motors has announced that it is to cut back its vehicle production in 13 of its US plants.

Troubled US automotive giant General Motors has announced that it is to cut back its vehicle production, saying that it had scheduled ‘multiple down weeks’ at 13 of its assembly operations in North America.

Under the plan, approximately 190,000 vehicles will be removed from GM’s North American production schedule in the second and early third quarter of this year.

GM said that dealer vehicle inventories are at high levels, given the current depressed car market, and that that the shutdowns will give the company the opportunity to bring production in line with current market demand.

With regard to bankrupt auto-components maker Delphi, GM said that it has been in, as yet unresolved, negotiations with the company and its lenders to arrive at solutions that would ensure that GM would continue to receive parts under reasonable terms.

Without a successful resolution, GM claimed that Delphi or its lenders could force it into an uncontrolled shutdown, with severe negative consequences for the US automotive industry.

In the actions announced, the weeks that the plants will be closed are staggered and vary in duration, based on current inventory levels and expected demand for the products.

Corresponding down weeks are also scheduled at GM’s stamping and powertrain facilities. The scheduling actions, however, do not impact operations that are in the process of launching new products, including the new Chevrolet Camaro built at Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, and the Buick LaCrosse launching soon at the Fairfax, Kansas assembly plant.

UK newpaper, the Financial Times, claimed that Italian car maker Fiat had expressed an interest in taking a stake in GM’s European business as it rushed to cement an alliance with Chrysler.