General Motors insists all is well with its current production capacity and inventory levels, but the United Auto Workers union believes otherwise. According to a revealing report, six GM passenger cars are at risk of being discontinued. These include the Cadillac CT6, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Volt and Buick LaCrosse. All by 2020.
UAW President Dennis Williams told Reuters he’s had continued dialogue with GM over the potential job losses that may occur as vehicle sales continue to slow. Specifically, Williams is worried about the market’s lack of love for sedans—GM builds several sedans in the United States.
“We are talking to (GM) right now about the products that they currently have” at underused car plants such as the Detroit-Hamtramck facility in Michigan and Lordstown, Ohio plant. The discussions have surrounded whether they might be replaced by crossovers to hold production capacity in the U.S., according to the UAW president.
“We are tracking it (and) we are addressing it,” he added.
GM has already scheduled more downtime than usual and cut shifts at its manufacturing facilities across the U.S. Analysts predict the plateauing car market may lead to more job risks, especially at plants where compact and mid-size cars are built.
GM must “create some innovative new products” to replace slow-selling sedans “or start closing plants,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions, in the report.
Analysts also peg the Detroit-Hamtramck plant as most vulnerable—it builds sedans exclusively. The Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Volt and Buick LaCrosse are all assembled at the facility.
While some nameplates may be retired at the end of the current product lifecycle, others may be reborn as a crossover. Specifically, the Chevrolet Volt could be replaced by a plug-in hybrid crossover in 2022, if the name isn’t replaced entirely.
GM estimated its days’ supply of vehicles would fall to 90 vehicles by July 1, but instead, inventories rose to 105 days supply. The automaker insists it will reach a 70-day supply by the end of this year. The inventory buildup is on purpose, per GM, as various plants go offline for retooling and improvements.