GM Increases Production as Inventories Fall

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

After months of “deeper, harder, faster” cuts, GM is increasing its production numbers again. “We want to run lean, but we’re way too lean right now and we’re going to miss sales unless we put some production in,” explains GM sales honcho Mark LaNeve. He tells Automotive News [sub] that output will increase 35 percent in the third quarter to 535k units, and “at least” a further 20 percent in the fourth. “And it’ll probably go up from there,” says LaNeve. “Our dealers are clamoring for more vehicles in every segment.” Camaro, Equinox, SRX and Buick LaCrosse are said to be in especially short supply as GM’s nationwide inventory hit 360k units. Though much of the inventory shortfall is the result of Cash for Clunkers, GM’s cup-o-optimism runneth over.

“We look for pickups to continue to accelerate along with a recovery in the housing industry and overall economy,” says LaNeve. And he’s not kidding. The Arlington [Texas] Yukahoburbelade plant is getting overtime this month along with Fort Wayne’s Silverado/Sierra production. CAMI is adding shifts to increase Equinox/Terrain production while Lordstown is bumping up Cobalt production. Orion Township, which was due to be shuttered in September for retooling, will continue to pump out Malibus until November.

“We’re adding 60,000 units to our production schedule,” LaNeve says. “We’re probably not done, but this is what we’re ready to talk about today.” And when Cash for Clunkers plays out and leaves a smoking crater where all those pulled-forward sales used to be? GM will go back to right-sizing, shift-cutting, inventory management, fire sales, channel stuffing and the other depressed-cycle tricks of the trade. Meanwhile, enjoy the buzz.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Chinar Chinar on Aug 19, 2009

    $1.7b / $ 4000 = 425000 units (i believe $ 1.7b is the amount used up for C4C so far) GM share 18% = 425000 * 18/100 = 76500 units 60000 units added production seems about right

  • Jerry weber Jerry weber on Aug 20, 2009

    If the American car companies pulled sales from future months because of the clunker deal, then what? Is it back to discounts by next year? If they cut production will there be any suppliers still left to make parts? Will they have to keep as GM and Ford are doing, putting hundreds of millions into these bankrupt former captive suppliers just to keep them and the parts alive? What will be the real price of the cars built at a lower volume and without discounts? When all of these questions are answered we will know if the new Govt program is once and done or will it have to be on going.

  • Jeff Self driving cars are not ready for prime time.
  • Lichtronamo Watch as the non-us based automakers shift more production to Mexico in the future.
  • 28-Cars-Later " Electrek recently dug around in Tesla’s online parts catalog and found that the windshield costs a whopping $1,900 to replace.To be fair, that’s around what a Mercedes S-Class or Rivian windshield costs, but the Tesla’s glass is unique because of its shape. It’s also worth noting that most insurance plans have glass replacement options that can make the repair a low- or zero-cost issue. "Now I understand why my insurance is so high despite no claims for years and about 7,500 annual miles between three cars.
  • AMcA My theory is that that when the Big 3 gave away the store to the UAW in the last contract, there was a side deal in which the UAW promised to go after the non-organized transplant plants. Even the UAW understands that if the wage differential gets too high it's gonna kill the golden goose.
  • MKizzy Why else does range matter? Because in the EV advocate's dream scenario of a post-ICE future, the average multi-car household will find itself with more EVs in their garages and driveways than places to plug them in or the capacity to charge then all at once without significant electrical upgrades. Unless each vehicle has enough range to allow for multiple days without plugging in, fighting over charging access in multi-EV households will be right up there with finances for causes of domestic strife.