* Production at Cruze factory halted around 1 pm
* Third shift suspended; first, second shifts shortened
Dec 12 (Reuters) - General Motors Co suspended production on Monday afternoon at an Ohio plant that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car due to a supplier issue.
Production at the Lordstown, Ohio, factory was halted around 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT). Workers on the first and second shifts worked shortened schedules, while the third shift was suspended, GM Lordstown spokesman Tom Mock said. Mock said skilled trade workers at the plant are due to report to work their regular hours.
GM spokesman Chris Lee declined to describe the nature of the supplier issue, saying only that the No. 1 U.S. automaker was looking to restart production as swiftly as possible.
So far this year, the Cruze is the second-best-selling small car in the U.S. auto market and the 10th-best-selling vehicle overall as consumers seek more fuel efficient options.
GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said this month that he hoped the Cruze, which gets up to 42 miles per gallon, would become the top-selling car by the end of 2011.
Toyota Motor Co’s Corolla has so far outsold the Cruze by a little more than 4,000 vehicles. The Cruze has outsold Honda Motor Co’s Civic, a longtime leader in the small car segment, and Ford Motor Co’s Focus.