Most General Motors dealers make their living off selling pickup trucks. (That's why when it came time to trim the brands and reorganize under bankruptcy, GMC survived and Pontiac didn't – because Buick dealers needed to have a truck to sell, not a full-size muscle sedan from Australia.) That makes this year a tricky one for dealers, according to Automotive News, as they need to have enough Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra models in stock to get them to the 2013 model year.
What makes this quandary different from most years is that GM is readying all-new pickups, meaning that it will be shutting down production for long stretches to retool. The full-size Chevrolet and GMC trucks date to 2006, making them the oldest in the industry that don't wear a Nissan Titan badge on their tailgate. Dealers, of course, don't want to be caught with many 2012 trucks – vehicles that are already difficult enough to sell – but they don't want inventories to run completely dry and risk turning away customers.
With a combined 29 weeks of downtime scheduled for three truck plans, according to the report, some dealers are stockpiling pickups to avoid running out if the truck production pipeline dries up before the 2013s start shipping. Other dealers are taking the opposite strategy, turning down 2012s and waiting for next year's models.
Given all that has happened to GM in recent years, we imagine that most dealers know altogether too well that you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.