Production Pullback for GM's Second Best-selling Model

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
production pullback for gm s second best selling model

The equinox, which arrives dutifully every spring and fall, represents a harmonious balance between day and night, light and darkness, but it also signals a return to the imbalance that reigns for the remainder of the year. For Chevrolet’s perennially popular Equinox crossover, current production rates are not harmonious with what GM expects to come.

Which is why the automaker plans to throttle back on building, both south of the border and north of it. Plants in Mexico and Canada will see a production haircut following some crystal ball action on the part of the company.

In terms of impact to jobs, Mexico’s San Luis Potosí assembly plant stands to take a harder hit. The facility, which builds Chevy’s Equinox, Trax, and GMC’s Terrain, will move from three shifts to two, Automotive News reports, with the cut occuring on August 12th.

The automaker claims the pullback results from “variations in the industry forecast in different export markets.”

For workers at GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, which solely builds the Equinox, the impact will be seen in production shutdowns and temporary layoffs. The first of the anticipated shutdowns will take place starting September 30th. “In keeping with GM’s strategy to align production with market demand, on August 1 CAMI employees were advised of an upcoming down week,” GM spokeswoman Jacqueline Thomson told AN via email. “No additional scheduling decisions have been confirmed at this time.”

Unifor Local 88, which represents the CAMI workers, suggests more downtime will follow, using the term “weeks” in describing the shutdowns scheduled for the latter part of 2019.

If you were to look at the Equinox’s sales performance in the U.S., you’d be hard-pressed to see any bad news. Last year was by far the model’s best sales year in that country. GM sold some 332,621 of the compact CUVs in 2018, and sales over the first half of 2019 show an 11.4 percent gain.

That said, analysts and automakers alike predict a reduction in industry-wide sales volume this year, to say nothing of the near future. At some point, perhaps soon, the Equinox will peak. In Canada, it seems the high water mark has already been reached. North of the border, the best sales year for the Equinox was 2017. The first half of this year saw the model’s fortunes decline 17 percent.

Even before the downtime and shift cut announcement, production levels were on the wane in Ingersoll and San Luis Potosí, AN reports. The publication’s data center reveals a production reduction of 12 percent at the Mexican plant during the first half of the year; CAMI saw a reduction of 1.2 percent.

[Images: General Motors]

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2 of 22 comments
  • Redgolf Redgolf on Aug 07, 2019

    So much for the START/STOP technology/manufacturing!

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 07, 2019

    May be they will just kill all their SUVs and CUV too? Just suggestion. You know Japanese make SUVs and CUVs too and how GM can compete with them? Just make pickups and done with it. No cars, no SUVs, no CUVs, no minivans, no coupes.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.