UpdateAll 3 US automakers to work through summer to meet demand

22 May 2013 23:24  [Source: ICIS news]

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HOUSTON (ICIS)--All three US automakers said on Wednesday that they would cancel their traditional summer shutdowns at most of their US factories to meet increased demand and ramp up for new model introductions.

Ford Motor said it will add shifts and reduce summer shutdowns to increase its North American manufacturing capacity by 200,000. Ford built 2.8m vehicles in North America in 2012. US auto sales are forecast to be about 15.5m units this year.

General Motors said that it would have no companywide shutdowns for the first time since 2008. Some plants may be idled later in the year, GM said, but for the most part there will be no breaks for the Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan, which builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS models.

GM said it is doing away with the annual summer shutdowns because it plans to introduce 23 new vehicles this year, including a redesign of the all-important Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.

Chrysler, a unit of Fiat, also said that three of its 10 North American assembly plants will not have a summer shutdown and four others will be off for just one week. Similarly, most of its engine, transmission and stamping plants will work through the summer.

Historically, the summer shutdowns let US auto makers trim inventories, install new production or switch over plants to produce a new or updated model.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each automobile contains an average of $3,297 (€2,572) worth of chemicals, such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), nylon, polycarbonate (PC) and others.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Mark Yost
+1 713 525 2653

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