It follows Holden’s move to temporarily stop right-hand drive production of the model late last year in the face of overstock. The Lion brand has since begun importing the model again with sales on the up.
Confirming it was readying to shut down the CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario for a week from September 30, GM has added that it will shut down an entire Equinox shift at the San Luis Potosi, Mexico plant from next week. That will see 260 workers lose their jobs.
The big US car maker says that the cost cutting exercise reflects lower global demand: "Both of the actions are essentially to better align production output with current global outlook demand," said GM spokesman Dan Flores. "We are committed to running the business responsibly."
Both sites produce the Chevrolet Equinox, which is produced for Holden in Mexico but at GM Mexico's Ramos Arizpe facility instead. Though GM says global demand is waning, Equinox sales are actually up year-on-year in both the US and Australia.
It’s unclear what GM’s long-term strategy for the Equinox is. The new mid-size Chevrolet Blazer SUV began production late last year and is produced on the same C1 platform as the RHD Acadia, which is also produced at the same site as the Holden Equinox, spurring speculation that the sharp-looking model could replace the latter in global markets.