Production halted this week at 4 GM plants

December 20, 2012
Production halted this week at 4 GM plants
Detroit-Hamtramck, Orion affected
By MELISSA BURDEN / The Detroit News
General Motors Co. has idled four U.S. assembly plants this week, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Orion Assembly Center in Lake Orion is not producing vehicles this week to help reduce inventory levels, Louis Rocha, vice president of UAW Local 5960, confirmed Wednesday.

GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, which builds the Chevrolet Volt and sister vehicles, also is not making cars this week, the source said.

The downtime for the plants comes ahead of next week’s scheduled factory pause.

Orion Assembly workers, who build the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic and small Buick Verano, are scheduled to return Jan. 2.

The Orion Assembly production downtime was first reported Wednesday by Automotive News.

GM officials wouldn’t confirm the Orion or Detroit-Hamtramck downtime.

“We don’t discuss scheduling issues,” said Orion Assembly plant spokesman Kevin Nadrowski.

“We build what the market demand is.”

GM’s Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio, which builds the Chevy Cruze, also is down this week and work at GM’s Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kan., is halted all this month and into early January.

That plant builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse.

Kurt McNeil, GM vice president of U.S. sales operations, said this month GM’s year-end total inventory target of 660,000 to 670,000 vehicles was “in jeopardy.”

Total inventory climbed by 49,000 units in November to end the month at 788,194 vehicles.

Executives said they would consider production cuts to help slim inventory.

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