Detroit Three Planning Overtime on High Truck, SUV Demand
FCA, General Motors Keep Plants Humming Over Holidays
Low gas prices have given automakers an early Christmas present, and the trend is most beneficial to truck and SUV sales, which have historically been sensitive to fuel price fluctuations. To keep up with the strong demand for new truck and SUV models, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and General Motors plan on overtime for the plants that build the most popular models. For FCA, that means a single shift at the Toledo Jeep plant from the Friday after Christmas through New Year’s, according to Automotive News. Traditionally, most plants are closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Jeep sales are up 44 percent year-to-date, with the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Wrangler all consistently among the top 10 best-selling SUV models.
Other plants with scheduled holiday overtime are GM’s Arlington, Texas plant, which builds the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon/XL and Cadillac Escalade. GM is also planning overtime for its Wentzville, Missouri plant that builds the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, as well as the Ingersoll, Ontario plant that builds the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. The Lansing Delta Township plant that builds the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave crossovers is getting extended hours too.
Ford’s Kansas City Assembly plant, which builds both the F-150 and new Transit fullsize vans, will run overtime for the Transit, but the part of the plant which builds the F-150 will remain closed through February to undergo the transformation that Ford’s Rouge Truck plant underwent earlier this fall to transition from steel to aluminum construction.
Source: Automotive News