Slow fourth quarter sales have prompted General Motors to suspend production of the Chevrolet Cruze for the week of November 28th. The Cruze has been a standout seller for Chevrolet, and the Lordstown, Ohio plant had been running 24/7 with overtime shifts on Saturdays to keep up with demand for the car.
Cruze sales had been helped by the shortage of its two main competitors; Honda’s Civic and Toyota’s Corolla had been in short supply due to Japan’s March earthquake. Chevrolet’s Cruze was the U.S.’s best-selling small car from May through September with most month’s sales topping 20,000 units. October sales dropped to 14,000 as small car sales typically decline in the year’s last quarter, and combined with the recent drop in gasoline prices has meant fewer buyers for economical cars.
GM reported inventory of nearly 39,000 Cruzes at October’s end, and at the current rate of sales it would take 70 days to sell out. A 60-day supply is considered optimal. The plant will resume normal operations the week after the shutdown.