General Motors will temporarily close its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan., and four other factories next month as it tries to reduce a growing inventory of cars on dealer lots.
The factories will close anywhere from one to three weeks because of the continuing U.S. market shift toward trucks and SUVs, spokeswoman Dayna Hart said. Just over 10,000 workers will be idled.
The Fairfax plant and the company’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory each will be shut down for three weeks, while a plant in Lansing, Mich., will be down for two weeks. Factories in Lordstown, Ohio, and Bowling Green, Ky., each will be idled for one week.
The Fairfax plant, which has more than 3,000 employees, builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse.
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Other cars affected by the idling include the Chevrolet Cruze, Camaro, Corvette, Volt and Impala; the Cadillac CT6, CTS and the ATS. Last month, almost 62 percent of total U.S. vehicle sales were trucks and SUVs.
Buyers are snapping up SUVs largely because they like the high seating position and the ability to haul things. Gasoline prices around $2 per gallon have helped the sales, but SUVs also have become more fuel efficient in the past five years.
GM’s inventory of vehicles on dealer lots at the end of November stood at 874,162, up 26.5 percent from the same time a year ago.
Workers at the plants will get company supplemental pay and unemployment benefits that add up to most of their pay.
Also Monday, Fiat Chrysler announced it was adding four off days to the Jan. 2 observation of New Year’s at its minivan assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, and its large-car facility in Brampton, Ontario. The moves are to align production with demand, said spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.
Bloomberg News contributed to this story.