Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse Production Idled Again to Reduce Inventory

The plant that builds the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and 2013 Buick LaCrosse sedans is being idled again, Automotive News reports. To reduce inventory, production at GM’s Fairfax plant in Kansas City will be suspended for two weeks to better match supply with demand. After production goes on pause for the next two weeks, it is scheduled to resume the week of February 17.

2013 Buick LaCrosse eAssist left side 1 300x187 imageThis is the second time the Fairfax plant has been idled in the last two months. The plant was idled for three weeks in late December and early January to reduce inventory and account for the holidays. GM had a 164-day supply of Malibus at the beginning of December, which was reduced to 129 days by January 1 and 94 days by the end of last month, Automotive News notes. LaCrosse inventory stood at 117-day supply on January 31, up from a 98-day supply the first of the month, but down from a 124-day supply from the beginning of December.

Despite criticism for its cramped rear seat and poor driving dynamics, 2013 Malibu sales have increased every month for the past six months. Last year, GM sold 210,951 Malibu sedans behind the Nissan Altima (302,924), Ford Fusion (241,263), and Hyundai Sonata (230,605) in midsize sales. In January, the Malibu placed fifth among midsize sedans, below the Fusion and Altima, but above the Sonata and Optima. In 2012, GM sold 57,076 LaCrosse sedans, down 2.4 percent from the prior year.

What must GM change to increase sales of the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse? Share your thoughts below.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

By Jason Udy