General Motors is extending the normal two-week summer shutdown for at least two U.S. car factories because of slumping sedan sales.
Union officials say the Lordstown, Ohio, plant near Cleveland and the Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas, will close for as many as five weeks in June and July. The company confirmed that some car factories would be shut down longer than usual but would not give details. Lordstown makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, while Fairfax builds the Chevrolet Malibu midsize car.
The additional shutdowns come as all automakers struggle to deal with a shrinking U.S. market that is dramatically shifting away from cars toward trucks and SUVs of all sizes. Some are continuing to produce cars and selling them to rental car companies or offering big discounts to individual buyers while others are cutting production. Through May, U.S. car sales were down 11 percent while truck and SUV sales rose nearly 5 percent, according to Autodata Corp.
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