Previously, Fiat-Chrysler came out stating production would not head into a summer shutdown during the first two weeks of July, pointing to the hotter than ever pickup truck, crossover and SUV segment.
Now, General Motors is following suit. The Detroit Free Press reports GM and the UAW will work straight through the first two weeks of July, normally reserved as downtime to install new tooling, shrink inventories and more.
“We are working straight through the month of July and currently we have five Saturdays scheduled through the summer,” said Brian Hartman, president of UAW Local 2209, which represents about 4,000 workers at the GM Truck plant in Ft. Wayne, Ind. “We have the capacity to produce 505 trucks per day, and we’re right at the brink of that most days.”
Part of this is due to scaled back plant locations in the U.S. At a time when four plants would be manufacturing the same trucks, a summer shutdown is necessary. Now, with U.S. automakers at half of that in some cases, a summer shutdown simply isn’t feasible.
But, it’s not just trucks for GM. The Delta Township and Detroit-Hamtramck facility will also work straight through July as crossovers and new sedans prepare for launch. Specifically, the 2017 Buick LaCrosse arrives this summer, and the 2016 Cadillac CT6 continues to trickle into dealers.
It’s good news for UAW members, since profit sharing bonuses are linked to profitability in North America. But, int he short-term, it’s hard work and long days on the way.