* Fairfax plant also makes Buick LaCrosse
* GM had 164-day supply of Malibus on Dec. 1-Automotive News
DETROIT Dec 17 General Motors Co idled
the Kansas plant that makes the Chevrolet Malibu on Dec. 3 and
will not reopen it until Jan. 7 in an attempt to cut into the
hefty supply of the midsize sedan, said a source familiar with
The plant, in Fairfax, Kansas, was to be down for a
week-and-a-half beginning December 24 for a normal holiday
break. An extra 3-1/2 weeks of no-production days were added to
allow GM to work through the oversupply of the Malibu and the
Buick LaCrosse, which is also made at the plant.
U.S. sales of the Malibu this year were up 4 percent to
199,321 through November, according to Autodata Corp.
On December 1, GM had a 164-day supply of the Malibu, well
over the comfort level for supply on hand for the automaker,
according to Automotive News, which earlier on Monday reported
the plant would be down four weeks beginning Dec. 10.
There are about 3,700 workers at the Fairfax plant, and some
of them are continuing to work on maintenance work, said a GM
A new 2013 version of the Malibu went on sale this past
The Malibu is in one of the most competitive segments, the
midsize sedan, of the U.S. auto market.
Through November, the sales leaders among midsize cars were
the Toyota Motor Corp Camry, sales up 36 percent at
373,479; the Honda Motor Co Accord, up 39 percent at
302,444; the Nissan Motor Co Altima, up 15 percent at
243,005; the Ford Motor Co Fusion, down 2 percent at
226,445; and the Hyundai Motor Co Sonata, up 1
percent at 209,779.
Part of the year-on-year sales gains for Toyota's Camry and
Honda's Accord are linked to the lack of inventory the two
automakers had in 2011 after the March earthquake and tsunami
last year in Japan.
GM has had a glut of other of its models, including its
compact sedan the Chevrolet Cruze, and its fullsize pickup truck
the Chevrolet Silverado.
GM at the end of November said it had a 139-day supply of
the Silverado pickup truck, and a 96-day of supply of the Cruze.
The Cruze is made in Lordstown, Ohio, where scheduled
December downtime was extended by an extra week, due to the
U.S. sales for all four of GM's brands, Chevrolet, GMC,
Cadillac and Buick, were up 3.5 percent this year through
November. Overall, the U.S. industry's sales were up 14 percent
in that same period.
GM remains the top U.S. automaker by sales, with 17.9
percent of the U.S. market through November, down from 19.7
percent through the first 11 months of 2011, according to