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GM will idle Michigan, Indiana plants to pare truck supply

GM will idle Michigan, Indiana plants to pare truck supply

Automotive News | June 17, 2011 – 3:57 pm EST

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — General Motors Co. plans to idle U.S. truck plants for two weeks in July as the automaker pares inventory of pickups and prepares the factories for output of 2012 model year vehicles.

GM’s Flint Assembly in Michigan will shut down for the weeks of July 4 and July 11, said Tom Wickham, a spokesman for the Detroit-based automaker. Production at Fort Wayne Assembly in Roanoke, Indiana, also will stop during those weeks, said Orval Plumlee, president of UAW Local 2209, which represents hourly workers among the factory’s more than 3,300 employees.

The two plants make Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. GM’s truck inventory was 288,000 units at the end of May, up from 275,000 on April 30. The inventory included 258,000 units of large trucks, or 110 days supply, Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, said on a June 1 conference call. The industry standard is about 60 days supply.

Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations, said at a June 3 conference that the inventory of trucks was acceptable in the short term and wouldn’t prompt a surge in discounts.

“We’re not going to run big incentives to clear inventory,” Reuss said on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan earlier this month. “We’ll adjust inventory on a production basis.”

GM’s deliveries in May fell 1.2 percent to 221,192 vehicles, the company said in a June 1 statement. While Johnson said GM is “not anticipating tremendous growth” in the U.S. truck segment, sales may rebound in the second half due to seasonal factors and pent-up demand.

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