Plant Shutdown Doesn't Gel With January Numbers

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For four years, it's been nothing but work at Lansing Grand River Assembly plant.

"We've always been in start-up mode, we're always had some new model," explains UAW Local 652 president Chris Sherwood.

LGR produces the Cadillac CTS, the SRX, and the STS. All are selling well, according to General Motors.

Local 652 president Chris Sherwood admits the shutdown announcement came as a surprise. Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant employees have been working overtime this fall to roll out their newest model, the STS. What's more, January sales figures were way above the curve of the market, the Cadillac CTS selling almost 20 percent more than the year before.

"We were stronger this January than last January, but January's never good, and since we're running faster, we have inventory we'd like to get rid of," explains Ken Knight, Plant Manager at LGR.

With current demand, GM has 129 days worth of the SRX already made, 138 days of the STS, and 134 of the CTS.

Knight says the target is below 90.

Both union and plant management say a temporary shutdown is the smart response, and with luck, just a blip in the radar. Nonetheless, both admit this first shutdown may not be the last, counting on Cadillac for a promising product but not a promise for production.

Looking to the future, LGR will make Cadillacs for buyers overseas. They're already exporting to China and they'll start on the European market this year.