Numerous issues over the last few years have wreaked havoc on new vehicle production, forcing manufacturing slow-downs and pauses that left many dealership lots empty. Now, General Motors will implement another temporary production pause at a major pickup truck plant in Indiana. Only this time, it's not because of supply chain problems. It seems GM now has too many trucks.
As reported by The Detroit News, the automaker will idle production for two weeks at its large Fort Wayne Assembly location, starting March 27. This is to help "maintain optimal inventory levels" according to a letter obtained by the news outlet. The Fort Wayne plant builds half-ton versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, two of the most popular vehicles sold in North America.
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Motor1.com contacted Chevrolet for a comment on the report. We will add updated information as it becomes available. A GM spokesperson confirmed the pause with The Detroit News, further stating that truck production was up in the last 30 days while demand remained steady. This aligns with a GM statement from January 31 regarding total 2022 revenue, in which the automaker pledged to maintain inventory levels consistent with demand. A supply of 50 to 60 days is targeted by the end of 2023.
Is this a sign that vehicle inventory levels are returning to normal? A representative from Cox Automotive told The Detroit News that Chevrolet Silverado 1500 inventory was over 100 days as of the end of January, but that's not an official figure supported by GM. Furthermore, it's unclear as of yet what might be fueling the stabilizing demand. Inflation and fears of a recession are ongoing in the US market, which could certainly lead to declining sales despite a healthy supply of vehicles.
While the Fort Wayne Assembly plant will pause for two weeks, that doesn't mean Silverado and Sierra production will come to a complete stop. The trucks are also assembled at plants in Michigan, Canada, and Mexico, and production in those areas is reportedly unaffected.