GM to Halt Duramax Production For Over Four Months
A four-and-a-half month pause in Duramax diesel engine production has GM dealers worried about possible shortages of the diesel-powered Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.
<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Although the halt is necessary to retool the DMAX plant in Moraine, Ohio, for the next-generation diesel, the facility isn’t expected to resume building engines for quite some time. The plant is expected to be moved off-line in December, and it won’t begin producing new engines until April of 2010.
<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Dealers fret this move will whittle away at already slim inventories of the diesel-powered pickups. Analysts predict a sales recovery could occur while the engine plant is down, creating a shortage.
<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">“We got a notice yesterday that starting immediately, we can no longer order the Duramax regular cab [model],” said Scott Brasher, general manager of Brasher Motor Co. in Weimar, Texas. He can still order extended cab diesel pickups, but expects to place his last order next month.
<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Tom Read, a GM Powertrain spokesman, told Automotive News that GM plans to build a surplus inventory of Duramax engines this fall, as the 2009-specification engines cannot legally be manufactured after December 31, thanks to 2010 diesel emission standards. Read says the 2009 engines stockpiled can be installed in pickups, and GM hopes to build up a large enough surplus to last through the end of the year.
<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Source: Automotive News