General Motors has temporarily stopped production of the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano this week to prevent large inventories from building up. According to a GM representative, GM shut down its facility in its Lake Orion, Michigan, plant, since the company produces according to demand. Even when sales continue to be strong, GM is having difficulty with the high inventories of unsold cars throughout its lineup.
As of the end of November, GM said that it had a 106-day supply of all its new cars while it had a 139-day inventory on full-size pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado. These are very high numbers and stand for a big backlog of vehicles at factories and dealerships that have yet to be sold. Sales of the Chevrolet Sonic compact continue to be strong.
However, this car has a sales average of almost 7,000 units each month. So far in 2012, there have been 75,257 units sold of this model. However, GM’s production data indicate that the Lake Orion plant has produced 93,932 Sonics for the period from January to November 2012 while sales have been far too low. According to Automotive News, the automaker has a 128-day supply of Sonics, equivalent to around 25,700 cars in the inventory.
However, Chevrolet Sonic spokesperson Annalisa Bluhm warns that the plant shutdown for the week was set since sales of small cars such as the Sonic are typically slower in winter.
Production normally slows down at the end of 2012. Bluhm said that instead of buying cars, buyers spend money on holiday gifts and vacations. Bluhm said that makes sense to lessen its output before the slower sales months arrive. Bluhm added that most people defer car purchases until the end of the first quarter and that the majority of Sonic sales are recorded from spring to late fall.