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GM announces 2012 downtime for three US truck plants

Each year, auto plants around the United States deal with planned downtime as various maintenance and retooling tasks are handled and as 2012 nears, General Motors has announced planned downtime for their three American truck plants in Michigan, Texas and Indiana – with a total of 21 weeks of downtime across the three facilities.

The plants affected by General Motors’ recently announced idling plans include the Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana, Flint Assembly in Michigan and Arlington Assembly in Texas – all three of which currently produce GM’s popular full sized trucks and sport utility vehicles including models like the GMC Yukon, the GMC Sierra, the Chevrolet Silverado, the Chevy Suburban, the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade.

The plant which is the most heavily affected by the planned downtime for the 2012 calendar year is the Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana, which currently builds various GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado full sized pickups. Between January and October, Fort Wayne Assembly will be shut down for a total of nine weeks so over the course of 40 or so weeks, the plant will be on downtime for about a quarter of the time in the first three quarters of 2012. Next, the Flint Assembly plant in Michigan will see production stop for a total of seven weeks between June and October over the course of 23 weeks – meaning that Flint workers will face a fair deal of downtime through the summer and early fall next year. The Flint plant builds light duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra – both of which are top sellers for their respective brands. Finally, the Arlington Assembly Plant in Texas which currently builds the GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban (shown on the right) and Cadillac Escalade will face five weeks of downtime between June and December – meaning that the folks building these full sized sport utes will average about one week a month off starting in the summer and running through the end of the year.

In total, these three plants will deal with 21 weeks of scheduled downtime in the 2012 calendar year which will allow General Motors to commence with millions of dollars worth of planned upgrades and investments including preparation for production of the 2013 model year vehicles. During this time, GM will also organize routine maintenance to the plant that is easier done when production is not going on while also tackling any other repair or upgrading issues as these plants look to build future products.

General Motors currently has an inventory of almost 203,000 full sized pickups (at the end of November), accounting for roughly a 105 day supply with the intention of cutting that number to under 200,000 units by the end of December. This means that GM will likely be able to easily meet the demand for these full sized trucks and SUVs through 2012 while also preparing the plants for the newest models. GM also builds these full sized vehicles at their plant in Silao Mexico and the automaker plans to announce the scheduled downtime for the 2012 model year for that plant after the first of the year.

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Source: The Detroit News

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