GM Slashes Pickup and SUV Production
On August ninth, GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz announced that his employer had increased incentives in response to its competitors' spending– not to shore-up sliding market share. On Elvis' Death Day (August 16), Bob pronounced himself "reasonably pleased" with the month's progress– despite our spies' reports that GM's sales were continuing their disastrous slide. Yesterday, GM ended the charade (at least for anyone other than Bob Lutz) by announcing production cutbacks on their cash cows: pickup trucks and SUVs. Reuters reports that the automaker has eliminated previously scheduled overtime through the rest of the year at truck-making plants in Arlington, Texas; Janesville, Wisconsin; Silao, Mexico; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario. Spokesman Tom Wickham explained that "reducing overtime production enables us to reduce pressure for excessive incentive spending." True, but it also reduces the amount of cash GM's North American operations will generate. If August pans out the way we've heard, look for more production cuts AND increased incentives.
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