just-auto.com

USA: Automakers to cut back production

By just-auto.com editorial team | 6 March 2001

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. plan to scale back production next quarter to trim excess inventory amid slackened U.S. demand for cars and light trucks, according to Associated Press (AP).

GM has around an 87-day supply of unsold vehicles, Ford estimates inventory at 80 days and DaimlerChrysler AG's loss-making Chrysler arm told AP it had roughly a 60-day supply.

The automakers, who already have cut production over the past several months to reduce excess inventories, announced their latest production plans on Thursday, AP said.

According to AP, GM said it plans to trim production by 17 percent from April to June compared with the same three months in 2000.

"It's important for us to continue to work down those inventory levels," Paul Ballew, GM's director of market analysis, told AP.

Ford told AP it was increasing North American production this quarter by 10,000 vehicles -- or one percent -- to 1.06 million units, but output would still be down 210,000 units, or 16 percent, from the first three months of 2000.

Ford plans to produce 1.25 million vehicles from April to the end of June, down 69,000 units, or five percent, from the same period last year, AP said.

AP said that Chrysler will idle its Newark, Delaware, plant this week as the company's Bramalea, Ontario, factory in Canada begins a two-week shutdown.