Thanks to strong sales, a sharp rise in productivity signals the revival of the Detroit Three big automakers – GM, Ford and Chrysler – in the wake of 2009’s crisis restructuring.

According to Gerald Johnson, GM’s vice-president of North American manufacturing,  nine of the 17 manufacturing facilities the company has in the US, Canada and Mexico are now operating on a three-shift basis, compared to just three of the 20 plants it had back in 2008. The company also plans to add the effective third shift at two other plants, he says.

“The industry is growing; our share of the industry is growing – and I’m never going to complain about that because it’s a great problem to have.” said Mr. Johnson.“Three shifts is the way that we think you have to operate to be profitable in North America,” he added.

Because of extensive improvements made to the model line-ups aided booth Ford and Chrysler in their stride to reach a bigger US market share during the recent years revival, while GM has maintained its leader position although it faces increased competition from Japan’s Toyota, Germany’s Volkswagen and others.

The US industry’s rapid restructuring pace –which led to large numbers of plants and dealers to be closed down and thousands of workers sent home – is in stark contrast to efforts in Europe to face the excess capacity problem, as many of the local governments have vetoed against the carmakers closing idle plants.

Via Financial Times


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