Back in May, there was speculation that the Detroit Three automakers would maintain or perhaps even extend their traditional summer shutdowns, mostly due to a bitingly cold winter that saw below-freezing temperatures infiltrate the southernmost reaches of the US, putting a chill on auto sales. Now, though, the numbers are in, and thanks to some promising sales figures, it looks like some domestic line workers are going to be working clear through July, in some cases.
A lot more happened during this latest brutal winter than days of snow and Netflix binges. Automotive sales took a battering. After all, going out car shopping when it's eleventy-billion degrees below zero isn't a good time.
Most domestic automaker assembly plants traditionally take a couple of weeks off during the summer. The shutdowns give each plant time for much needed repairs and maintenance, and in some cases, help better align production with demand. Not this year, though, as demand for many models is outstripping what Ford, Chrysler and General Motors plants can produce.
Japan is still struggling to repair itself in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the country's auto industry is looking to help out wherever it can. Automotive News reports that automakers and suppliers will work weekends and take off Thursdays and Fridays in an effort to ease pressure on the nation's power grid. The March 11 earthquake wiped out eight percent of the country's overall electricity capacity, which means that a lot of folks in Japan will need to cut back on consum
The Detroit auto industry's annual summer shutdown is a tradition that goes back many decades, but this year, General Motors is taking a pass. It comes from a time when the new model year started in September for every car and they all debuted simultaneously, usually in dealer showrooms. The shutdown was the two week period in the summer during which all the plants installed updated tooling for the new models.