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Long winter means most automakers won't curb summer shutdown

Sun, 18 May 2014

A lot more happened during this latest brutal winter than days of snow and Netflix binges. Automotive sales took a battering. After all, going out car shopping when it's eleventy-billion degrees below zero isn't a good time.

Because of this Old Man Winter-induced sales slump, inventories are abnormally high as we head into the summer car buying season. That's led some analysts to predict that automakers will be more inclined to idle factories this summer, in a bid to trim some of the built-up inventory. Traditionally, American manufacturers offer up a two-week break in the middle of summer, although the burgeoning sales of the past few years have seen this practice become less popular.

"We're likely not going to see an acceleration this year," Jeff Schuster, a senior vice president at LMC Automotive, told The Detroit News. "We'll see production increases in 'pockets' but I don't know if it will be as widespread as in recent years."

According to The News, inventory levels currently sit at 69 days. That's down from March, but still a few days above desirable levels.

As of now, neither Ford nor Chrysler had set their summer production plans in stone, although the Blue Oval said it would make a decision after Memorial Day. General Motors wouldn't comment for The News' story.

By Brandon Turkus

See also: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, Are you a new Ford Mustang SVO? [w/video], 2015 Chrysler 200 nets 10,000 orders in first day.