For one week in November starting on the 7th, General Motors will halt operations at its Fort Wayne, Ind., plant to adjust to the demand in the market for full-sized pickups, according to GM spokesman Chris Lee. This plant is where the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are built. Since the end of June (when it had a 122-day inventory), GM has cut its output of pickups several times.
Full-sized pickups typically have an 80-day supply, according to analysts. Lee told Automotive News that adjustments are made at its facilities based on demand, which may prompt the company to impose overtime or maybe take a down week.
In early August, GM announced that the Saturday shifts at its Fort Wayne plant have been canceled for the rest of the year. Later that month, GM canceled five Saturday shifts for the months of September and October at its Flint, Mich., plant, which also produces large pickups, says Autonews.
Since getting to a high point last June, the pickup inventory of GM had dropped steadily, falling to 115 days at the end of July and 108 days at the end of August.
GM is expected to reveal its inventory levels for September next week during its monthly sales report. Ford Motor Co. said last week that the demand for big pickups will increase this month, contributing to an improvement in overall light-vehicle sales this September. Ford said that December is when its sales of pickups in the U.S. are at their highest.
According to George Pipas, a Ford sales analyst, large pickups account for around 13% of industry vehicle sales this month, a jump from the 9% share in April and May. From January to August this year, the U.S. demand for big pickups has increased 9% to 1.1 million units. Meanwhile, overall U.S. light-vehicle sales have risen by 11%.