The factories will close anywhere from one to three weeks due to the continuing U.S. market shift toward trucks and SUVs, spokeswoman Dayna Hart said. Just over 10,000 workers will be idled.
The company’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory and Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas, each will be shut down for three weeks, while a plant in Lansing, Michigan, will be down for two weeks. Factories in Lordstown, Ohio, and Bowling Green, Kentucky, each will be idled for one week.
The factories make most cars in the General Motors lineup including the Chevrolet Cruze, Camaro, Corvette, Malibu, Volt and Impala; the Cadillac CT6, CTS and ATS; and the Buick Lacrosse.
Last month almost 62 per cent of total U.S. vehicle sales were trucks and SUVs.
Buyers are snapping up SUVs largely because they like the high seating position and the ability to haul things. Gasoline prices around $2 per gallon have helped the sales, but SUVs also have become more fuel efficient in the past five years.
GM’s inventory of vehicles on dealer lots at the end of November stood at 874,162, up 26.5 per cent from the same time a year ago.
Workers at the plants will get company supplemental pay and unemployment benefits that add up to most of their pay.