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GM CEO: North American Auto Plants Will Return To Pre-Pandemic Production Levels By Late June

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GM CEO: North American Auto Plants Will Return To Pre-Pandemic Production Levels By Late June

General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) CEO Mary Barra is confident that North American vehicle production will return close to pre-pandemic levels by end-June.

What Happened

Speaking at a Wolfe Research automotive conference Wednesday,  Barra revealed GM’s aggressive efforts to restart production since May 18 with a special focus on pickup trucks. 

She said, “This week we’ll continue to add additional shifts in our North America plants, and we think we’ll be close to normal capacity by the end of June, and sooner, if possible.”

The U.S. plants that make large pickups are working three shifts as of Monday, but they are still not at pre-pandemic levels. GM’s Silao, Mexico plant is working on a single shift only, according to a company spokesperson Jim Cain.

The CEO revealed that demand was robust, saying, “There’s very strong demand from our dealers for more vehicles, especially trucks.”

Why It Matters

Cain declined to provide CNBC information on the percentage of North American plants that have returned to pre-pandemic production. 

Meanwhile, rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (NYSE: FCAU) 88% of full-time hourly workers are back to work with 85% of these workers are in the U.S. and 88% in Mexico. Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) declined to give the figures.

GM reopened its Silao plant on May 20. Politicians in Mexico remain wary of reopening plants mid-pandemic, but the American auto industry and officials have been exerting pressure on the Mexican government to reopen. 

Auto-parts maker Lear Corporation’s plant in Rio Bravo had twenty COVID-19 fatalities, making it the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in North America. Lear Corp. workers say they are scared to return to work.

Price Action

GM shares traded 1% higher at $29.36 in the after-hours session on Wednesday. The shares had closed the regular session 6.06% higher at $29.07.

 

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