General Motors will shut down its CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario for a week starting September 30 and will cut one of three shifts at the San Luis Potosi factory in Mexico from August 12.
What do these two facilities have in common? They both build the Chevrolet Equinox, one of GM’s best-selling models. The Canadian plant supplies the local and U.S. market, while the Mexican factory builds Equinox crossovers for domestic and Latin American markets. In addition, San Luis Potosi also assembles the Chevrolet Trax and GMC Terrain crossovers.
“In keeping with GM’s strategy to align production with market demand, on August 1 CAMI employees were advised of an upcoming down week. No additional scheduling decisions have been confirmed at this time,” GM Canada spokeswoman Jacqueline Thomson wrote in an email to Autonews Canada.
The company does not rule out additional temporary layoffs later in the year. As for the Mexican plant, GM motivated the decision to cut one of the three shifts with “variations in the industry forecast in different export markets.”
While it may seem a relatively minor production adjustment, GM’s decision to cut Chevrolet Equinox production in Canada and Mexico comes amid declining new-vehicle sales in the Americas and could offer clues about an incoming drop in demand for crossovers and SUVs. Basically, GM knows demand for this type of vehicles is waning so it is preparing for it.
Despite GM’s precautionary approach, the Chevrolet Equinox is still doing well in the United States, with sales increasing 11 percent to 174,157 units in the first half of the year. In Canada, however, sales dropped by 17 percent to 9,687 units during the same period.
It remains to be seen whether the SUV boom is coming to an end, but growth rates have been so big in recent years that it’s hard to imagine they will stay the same in the long run.