General Motors Co. is all set to shut down the plant that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car for a week due to slow sales and Japanese competition loaded an array of smaller cars.
The popular Chevrolet Cruze was the top-selling small car in the U.S. from May through September 2011. During these summer months, sales rose to a whopping 20,000 units each month, says Autodata Corp. The month of October saw a drastic drop to just over 14,000 units. This was caused by the rising numbers of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Sales of the compact rose with these two competitors, in short supply because of shortages in parts, a result of the earthquake in Japan earlier this year.
As production and dealer inventories return to normal, General Motors’s Cruze dips in sales. Chris Lee, GM spokesman, confirms in an email – the Lordstown plant, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Cleveland, will be shut down the week of November 28, 2011. It will return to around-the-clock operations the following week. General Motors will have about 39,000 Cruzes at its dealers at the end of October. It will take 70 days to sell all of them based on the current selling rate. Small-car sales normally drop in the final quarter of the year. Also experiencing a fall, gas prices also drop from about $4 per gallon ($1.05 a liter) earlier in the year.