Source: GM studying more temporary shutdowns

June 3, 2009 1:47:38 PM PDT
General Motors Corp. is considering the temporarily closure of more factories in the third quarter as it tries to control inventory to prepare for its exit from bankruptcy protection, a person briefed on the plans said Wednesday. Decisions are still being made, but the company wants to have inventory under control before its target of emerging from Chapter 11 in 60 to 90 days, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans are not final.

The closures won't be as extensive as GM announced for the second quarter, the person said. In April, the company said it would shutter 13 assembly plants for up to 11 weeks starting in May to control a growing supply of cars and trucks.

Company spokeswoman Sherri Childers Arb declined to say whether further shutdowns are under consideration.

"We are taking a look at the schedule right now and no decisions have been made," she said.

GM normally releases third-quarter production estimates with its May sales statistics, but the figures were absent from data released Tuesday.

Mark LaNeve, GM's North American vice president of sales and marketing, told reporters and industry analysts on a conference call Tuesday that the forecast would be released in the next couple of days.

GM's total dealer inventory at the end of May was 674,000 vehicles, which is 100,000 fewer than in May of last year, LaNeve said.

But the company wants to cut the inventory further with the summer production cuts, he said. The lower the inventory, the less pressure their is to use incentives to move cars and trucks off the lots.

"We would like to operate with a very lean level of inventory as part of the new reinvented General Motors, and that's exactly what we intend to do," LaNeve said.

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