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DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- General Motors Corp. (GM), faced with a sales slide that shows no signs of easing, will further cut production heading into 2009 by scheduling downtime at several plants and canceling planned overtime shifts.

In a letter send Tuesday to parts suppliers, GM purchasing Chief Bo Andersson said November sales are proving as weak as in October, when the auto maker posted a 45% sales decline.

"With the dramatic drop in sales in October combined with the continuing trend in November due to the tight credit market creating the inability for customers to secure financing to purchase or lease a new vehicle, GM leadership has decided to cancel some of the overtime planned for the balance of the 2008 calendar year and into early 2009," Andersson wrote in the letter.

In addition to canceling overtime at seven factories, GM will close four factories for either one or two weeks in January. The factories are in Shreveport, La., Wilmington, Del., Spring Hill, Tenn., and a joint venture in Ingeroll, Ont. Some plants produce slow sellers including the Hummer H3 sport- utility vehicle and the Pontiac Solstice roadster. The Spring Hill factory, however, builds the just-launched Chevrolet Traverse crossover.

The moves are the latest in a string of deep production cuts announced or carried out by GM in the last year. GM, which burned through $6.9 billion in the third quarter, is taking dramatic steps to maintain liquidity as it waits for word on whether the federal government will extend aid to troubled U.S. auto makers. The auto maker said it could run out of cash by the end of the year without government intervention.

Lawmakers are meeting Tuesday to discuss a bailout of the domestic auto industry. A plan GM rolled out in July to raise $15 billion, mostly through cost cuts, isn't sufficient, given rapidly deteriorating market conditions in the U.S. and around the globe. The company has also been stung by the freezing-up of credit markets, which has hampered plans to sell assets and raise money in capital markets.

GM had said earlier this month it will try to raise an addition $5 billion through cost cuts that include scaling back production starting early next year.

GM shares, which have hit six-decade lows in recent weeks, were down 10% to $ 2.86 in afternoon trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200811181339DOWJONESDJONLINE000577_FORTUNE5.htm
 

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Not a great surprise since only 1500 Traverse's were sold in OCtober and November probably won`t be much better. This would mean a very low annual rate (I agree you can`t extrapolate from just two months but the market is not getting better). Best to cut production now than have an oversupply later.
 
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