By on August 7, 2019

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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22 Comments on “Production Pullback for GM’s Second Best-selling Model...”

  • avatar

    Offhand, does anyone happen to know the number of days supply of these things in any area of the country?

  • avatar

    Sad because this likely by far a nicer Equinox than the previous generations.

    • 0 avatar

      My wife’s 2011 LTZ is pretty darned nice. Ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel are about all it’s missing. It even has active noise cancellation. Rides every bit as nice as the neighbors’ new Lincoln MKC and MUCH better than the 2013 Escape they’d had.

  • avatar

    This is probably one of the nicest crossovers out there.

    However, I’m pretty sure there will be a swing away from crossovers and back to sedans in the next few years, and I feel like it’s starting already. Several acquaintances are buying cars and rediscovering how zippy and less bulky they feel. My wife now wants a sedan.

    GM should definitely not cancel the Malibu or let it wither, now that they got it right. Or the Regal, for that matter.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Typical Q3 behavior by GM. Trucks will be next.

  • avatar

    CUV, SUV and pickup Truck GLUT (as in, we’re past peak CUV/SUV/PU).

    It’s on, and makers of poor quality products such as Guangzhou Motors (GM) will suffer disproportionately worse than their peers (although nearly all will suffer badly).

    • 0 avatar

      Or just a slowdown in the overall car market.

      I don’t see any sign of low-car sales picking up anywhere. We’ve reached a place where in large swaths of America, if you are a man, You Just Drive a Pickup, and if you are a woman, You Just Drive a *UV.

      • 0 avatar

        Moved into a subdivision in late May.

        Probably the only people in the whole development who don’t have a “truck & _____” as part of our fleet. Were also just about the only ones actually using our garage to put cars in and not store things.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t live in a place where that’s the pattern, so it’s always a shock when I visit family or friends and am confronted with it.

          We stopped by the house of some friends who live in an exurb of Boise a couple weeks ago. Except for one Porsche 911, I believe my Highlander was literally the smallest car I saw in their entire golf course neighborhood. (They have an Expedition and an F-150.)

        • 0 avatar

          You wagon snobs have all of the utility!

  • avatar

    To dal and Dan above:

    I have been in contact with clients who are automotive suppliers on a frequent basis these past several months, as well as acquaintances that are in the finance or legal departments of Tier I and Tier II suppliers.

    Suppliers are tightening their belts on a level not seen since 2010. I’m speaking of hammering downstream suppliers, re-negotiating outside contracts/fee agreements with accounting/financial service providers and law firms, cutting out perks such as gym memberships, catered food services at meetings, and on and on.

    For those who think I am fabricating or exaggerating this, you do not have the same real time eyeballs on the situation that I do.

    For those who do work in the supplier chain, you know that neither fabricate not exaggerate these happenings.

    There is a precipitous slowdown happening, it is accelerating, and it is even forcing consolidation as CEOs/CFOs/COOs and their analysts are looking down the barrel of what they see as an existential threat to their existing business, due to not just the slowdown, but radical simplification of the supply chain due to the GS such as electrification.

    • 0 avatar

      Man-made climate change may not be real, but it will destroy our civilization.

      • 0 avatar

        I believe climate change is real, it’s the man-made part that is made up.

        Google “grand solar minimum” and learn about global COOLING due to a total lack of sunspot activity and changes in the Earth’s rotation which will produce a cooling cycle believed to last into the 2050’s.

        Since the Sun’s ability to regulate temperature and climate is reduced, extreme weather is becoming more common – including extreme HEAT. But the climate itself is cooling.

        It can be argued that such a future should mean an even greater demand for CUVs, SUVs and trucks that can better handle extreme conditions.

        But to Todd’s comment, if the US adopts any Green New Deal or similar legislation, it would effectively bring the auto industry as we know it to an end. With so many jobs still tied to the automobile, I find the assessment that our civilization would be destroyed to be not far off the mark.

      • 0 avatar

        And Europe has already bought into it, hook, line and sinker.

        It’s just a way for the elite to get power!

    • 0 avatar

      The EV boom couldn’t come at a better time.

    • 0 avatar

      @DeadWeight, I think you are spot on with your contacts regarding a downturn. Funny that some of the stock pundits on the airwaves still point to Ford as a buy and hold based on the 6% (currently 6.28%) yield.

      As for me personally, I’m unwinding my position in F prior to September, while I enjoy the massive additional shares that I get every quarter, they aren’t going to make their numbers, and I surely believe that GM will be in the same boat. My only quandary is that I bought Goodyear on the cheap and it’s currently paying out 4.8%.

      I’d be interested to hear from anyone who thinks anything positive about Goodyear. My thinking is that even if new car sales dry up, Amazon can’t do everything and perhaps the myriad of tire brands that GT makes might survive the downturn. But, I’m not so sure…

  • avatar

    ” The EV boom couldn’t come at a better time.” -Thanks for the tension relief, Norm.

  • avatar

    So much for the START/STOP technology/manufacturing!

  • avatar

    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.

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