GM temporarily stops production of Chevrolet Sonic, Buick Verano

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 24, 2012

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.

Chevrolet’s Sonic five-door and sedan models are a picture of strength, refinement and stability when seen from every angle. With its wide, planted stance and its wheels-at-corners proportions, the Chevrolet Sonic is all about great performance. The Sonic also boasts progressive and raked body lines that convey movement even when stationary.

You will also see that the Sonic has a design that is immediately recognizable as a Chevrolet, thanks to aggressive cues like motorcycle-inspired round headlamps and fender flares, combined with global design cues like round taillamps and dual-element grille. The hood’s leading edge forms a character line on top of the headlamps, which smoothly flows into a sleek side profile that is characterized by continuous body side lines, a low roofline, and a high beltline. The side mirrors have a similar shape as the car.

However, despite their many similarities, the Sonic five-door and the sedan models are distinctively different. The five-door model has a tight two-box shape as well as aggressive diving feature lines. The sedan, on the other hand, has a notchback profile with a more mature and a more upscale presence.

Also, at first glance, the Sonic five-door looks like a 3-door hatch because its rear door handles are hidden in the “C” pillar area. Additionally, its rear continues with non-traditional details like the motorcycle-inspired, exposed rear taillamps.

Other features that emphasize the quality of the Sonic and its attention to details include honeycomb grille inserts in matte black, chrome grille surrounds, and a range of large wheel sizes that gives the car a sporty look.

What’s more, the Sonic's cabin perfectly complements its motorcycle-inspired exterior with an instrument cluster that features a large, circular analog tachometer that is set within an asymmetrical LCD readout, as well as a large digital speedometer display.

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