General Motors South Korea will be idling its plant in the southwestern city of Gunsan for nine days this month, up from six days in March, due to slumping Chevrolet sales in Europe. The
Gangnam Gunsan plant builds the Chevrolet Cruze compact car and Orlando MPV, which it distributes globally, and has an annual production capacity of 260,000 vehicles. It is one of five GM factories in South Korea, which amount to 40 percent of all Chevrolet vehicles sold around the world.
According to Automotive News Europe, Chevrolet sales have dipped 39 percent from January to February 2013 in the EU, to 18,790 total units. The industry on average has dropped 10 percent. Year over year, European Chevy Cruze sales found themselves at 5,035 units for the first two months of 2013, down from 5,704 units. Taking a much sharper dive was the Orlando, which saw sales fall from 3,955 to 2,101 in the same time period.
There’s also the looming threat of North Korea, which GM CEO Dan Akerson stated that if tensions escalate, production will be temporarily pulled from South Korea altogether.