Tanking Chevrolet Sonic sales have warranted additional downtime at General Motors’ Orion assembly plant in Michigan. Reuters reports growing new-car inventories have left GM no choice but to idle the plant longer than expected.
Earlier this year, GM told investors it forecasted a 90-day supply of vehicles by the end of June. However, inventory levels rose to a 105-day supply of new vehicles across the United States. Sales of the Chevrolet Sonic are down 37 percent year to date.
A GM spokesperson said the additional downtime is due “solely to softening sales of the Sonic,” and Chevrolet Bolt EV production remains unchanged through the rest of this year. The Orion plant is the only facility that produces the Bolt EV and its European cousin, the Opel Ampera-e.
Through the first six months of this year, GM has sold 7,592 Bolt EVs, but inventories of the affordable electric car grew from a 104-day supply to a 111-day supply between June 1 and July 1. The Bolt EV is scheduled to roll out nationwide this coming September.
Other plants across North America have seen additional downtime as well—the Lordstown, Ohio plant, Fairfax, Kansas, and the Oshawa, Ontario plant all face extended shutdowns as sales slow for compact, mid-size, and full-size sedans.