US: GM and Ford plan longer plant shutdowns image

Several General Motors and Ford Motor automotive plants will take extra downtime around the holidays to help reduce inventory levels.

Typical holiday shutdown includes closures next week with employees returning to plants Jan. 2 or Jan. 6. But some plants are closing for a week or two longer, especially those preparing for vehicle introductions. Five GM plants in the U.S. and Canada will have additional downtime. Some of the closures are to reduce inventory of certain models; others are to tool up for new vehicles.

Meanwhile, Chrysler Group LLC has plans to add production over the holiday at three plants in Michigan and Ohio that manufacture the Ram, Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to a report in Automotive News.

All of Detroit’s Big Three automakers had inventory levels above 90 days’ supply at the end of November. Ford’s inventory stood at 91 days, jumping from 73 for the same time in 2012, while GM’s inventory levels were at 96 days’ supply, higher than November but down slightly from the same time a year ago. Chrysler Group LLC’s days’ supply was 91 at the end of November.