General Motors announced an increase in North American production this afternoon that has no doubt been brought on by the success of the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program. The increase will add shifts at facilities in Lordstown, OH, which produces the Chevy Cobalt, and the CAMI plant in Ontario, Canada, which makes the new 2010 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.

All in, the extra shifts will add 60,000 units to GM's production schedule over the third and fourth quarters of 2009. Extra bonus: 1,350 union auto workers will return to work to make it happen. GM also says that further production increases are likely based on positive consumer reaction to other vehicles like the Chevy Camaro, Cadillac SRX and CTS wagon and new Buick LaCrosse.

We'll have to wait until September sales numbers are released to see just how much C4C has positively affected GM's sales, but it's crystal clear now that dealers have sold through their inventory and want more, pronto.

[Source: General Motors | Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty]



PRESS RELEASE

GM Increasing North America Production, Adding Jobs to Meet Demand

  • Company adds 60,000 cars and trucks to production schedule
  • Adds shifts of production to its Lordstown (Ohio) and CAMI (Ontario, Canada) plants
  • Reinstates 1,350 jobs

Detroit – General Motors is increasing production at several North America assembly plants in response to increased sales. The company will add shifts, overtime and reinstate forecasted down weeks at select facilities. As a result, GM will add about 60,000 vehicles in the third and mainly the fourth quarter production forecast, ensuring a wide selection of high-quality, fuel efficient cars, crossovers and trucks for customers.

To help meet the increased demand, GM is adding shifts at CAMI, Ontario, Canada where the next generation Chevy Equinox and all-new GMC Terrain are built and Lordstown, Ohio where we build the fuel-efficient Chevy Cobalt. This will bring approximately 1,350 UAW and CAW employees back to the assembly lines. The Chevy HHR and Colorado and the GMC Canyon are also experiencing increased demand. Based on consumer reaction to the Chevy Camaro, Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon and the Buick LaCrosse, we anticipate the need to increase production at our plants will continue.

"We are running our plants to maintain maximum flexibility and keep production tightly aligned with customer demand," said Tim Lee, GM group vice president, global manufacturing and labor. "The uptick is an encouraging sign that vehicle sales are turning around, and we will ramp up quickly to meet that demand."

In July and August, the popular Cash for Clunkers program generated substantial demand for a broad range of fuel efficient vehicles within GM, including the Chevy Aveo, Cobalt, HHR, Malibu, Equinox and Colorado. This latest round of production increases will go a long way in rebuilding dealer inventories to help us meet strong consumer demand.

"It's gratifying to see demand for our products accelerate and we are extremely lean with inventories on our launch products like Camaro, Equinox, LaCrosse, SRX, CTS Wagon and Terrain," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. sales. "During the third quarter 2009, we've added production which will result in 35 percent increase over the second quarter. With today's announcement of further additions, the fourth quarter will now be at least 20 percent higher than the third quarter, which is a very positive trend."