Detroit 3 will keep some of their assembly sites in the United States running even this summer, as demand for their light trucks and SUVs continue to soar. Ford Motor Co. plans to reduce its two-week break to just one at four of its assembly sites. Chrysler Group, meanwhile, will have two US facilities running in summer -- its Jefferson North and Sterling Heights plants in southeast Michigan.
The sites build the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Chrysler 200. The Grand Cherokee posted this year its highest-selling May since 2000. According to Chrysler spokeswoman Shawn Morgan, consumer demand has been driving summer plans.
She noted that Chrysler certainly monitors demand for vehicles and manage the production schedule accordingly. General Motors, on the other hand, will have around a third of its sites open through the summer.
According to Automotive News data, GM sites that have yet to report scheduled shutdowns this summer are those in Arlington, Texas; Bowling Green, Ky.; and Flint, Mich.
These sites build several of GM’s light trucks and SUVs, like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM spokeswoman Katie McBride said in a statement that the approach provides the carmaker more flexibility and enables quicker response to market conditions.
She remarked that shutdown periods at GM will vary by plant depending on launch timing of new or refreshed models across the portfolio. In May, sales at GM surged 13 percent, Chrysler up 17 percent and Ford hiked 3 percent.
In June, sales at GM jumped 1 percent, Chrysler climbed 9 percent and Ford dropped 6 percent. For the first half of 2014, light-vehicle sales in the US spiked 4 percent to 8.2 million vehicles, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate in June of 17 million units -- the highest rate since July 2006.