- General Motors is extending some plant shutdowns.
- Shutdowns are normal in summer, but extensions typically occur during periods of soft sales.
- Inventories are high, and sales appear to be slowing across the industry.
General Motors will extend shutdowns at some of its factories this summer as sales slow and inventories fill up, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and the Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas, will be offline for up to five weeks in June and July, the Journal said, citing union officials. The Fairfax plant makes the Chevrolet Malibu.
"Shutdown periods vary by plant based on launch timing of new or refreshed models across the portfolio and our ongoing efforts to align production with market demand," said a GM spokesman in a statement sent to CNBC. "Our practice is to inform our employees and suppliers of our production plans. We do not share them publicly, for competitive reasons."
Automakers often shut plants down for a couple of weeks in the summer as they prepare to release new models. But GM is dealing with relatively high levels of inventory after running production lines at high rates, the Journal said.
The United Auto Workers union was immediately available to comment for CNBC.
The paper said job cuts may be needed as the workers return, since the assembly lines will be run at a slower pace. There already were layoffs at the Ohio plant.
Ford is also temporarily shutting down some plants. Automakers across the board are seeing some drops in demand, particularly among sedans and smaller cars, after years of record overall sales.