General Motors plans to idle its Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan for three weeks to address an issue of excessive inventory. GM will idle the site – which builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS – starting the week of Aug. 18, 2014, with output set to resume on Sept. 8, 2014, two people privy with the plant's schedule told Automotive News.
The temporary closure plans come as GM suffers from struggling sales of the ATS and CTS in the United States, which resulted to unusually high level of inventory. According to the Automotive News Data Center, on Aug. 1, there were 15,100 ATS sedans on dealer lots or in transit, equivalent to a 152-day supply based on the recent selling rate.
On the other hand, stocks of the CTS were at 16,900 units, equivalent to a 215-day supply. Dealerships are also burdened with burgeoning inventory of the XTS sedan and the ELR plug-in hybrid.
Inventory of the XTS on Aug. 1, 2014, was equivalent to a 152-day supply while stocks of the ELR were at 1,400 units, or a 194-day supply. GM launched the ELR in January, but so far, dealers have sold only just 578 units of the $75,995 plug-in hybrid.
Overall, Cadillac's inventory was 44,700 units on Aug. 1, equivalent to a 172-day supply – or around triple the level considered as healthy. Inventory levels at other brands were considerably far below that of Cadillac’s – Lincoln’s was 87 days; Audi's was 45 and BMW's was 42.
Cadillac saw its sales in the US drop 2 percent to 97,358 so far this year, while the luxury market has grown 6 percent. Likewise, Cadillac is GM’s only brand to log a drop in sales in an overall light-vehicle market that has gained 5 percent in the first seven months of 2014.
The lone shining star for Cadillac was its SRX crossover, which jumped 16 percent so far in the year. The ATS, meanwhile, logged 21-percent drop in sales in the first seven months of 2014, to 17,492 units. [source: automotive news - sub. required]