GM Halts Trucks Pickup Production for 10 Weeks image

GM announced it will stop truck production for 10 weeks as the automaker prepares for the introduction of the redesigned GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado in the second quarter.

GM finished last year with a pickup inventory almost in line with the company’s target, but in January inventories increased 24%. The automaker announced on Friday that the truck inventory increased to a 117-day supply at the end of last month from a 80-day supply in December. All GM’s three pickup plants will stop production for 10 weeks to allow the changeover, according to Jim Cain, GM’s spokesman.

To deal with high inventories GM chose to stop production for 10 weeks and not resort to a more expensive solution, that of offering heavy discounts to boost vehicle sales, a decision would have hurt not only the brand but also the resale values.

“We feel very good about where we are, going into an improving industry, a segment that has opportunity,” Kurt McNeil, GM vice president of U.S. sales operations, said Friday.

According to a statement, at the end of January GM had a full-size pickup inventory of 234,342 units, with 45,774 more trucks compared with January 2012 and a 5.7% increase from 221,649 units at the end of December. GM’s target was to have around 220,000 pickups in inventory by the end of 2012.