GM Temporarily Shuttering Midsize-Car Factory

Automaker’s Orion Township plant in Mich., which makes the Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu, will close for three weeks starting March 30th due to lower demand for its products.

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. will temporarily close a midsize-car factory near Pontiac, Mich., for three weeks due lower demand for its products, a company spokesman said Monday.

GM's Orion Township plant, which makes the Pontiac G6 and Chevrolet Malibu, will close the weeks of March 30, April 6 and April 13 to "align production with market demand," spokesman Chris Lee said.

The factory has about 3,200 hourly workers who will get state unemployment benefits and supplemental pay from the company that total about 85 percent of their base pay.

The closure is specific to the Orion plant's products and not part of a larger company production cut, Lee said.

GM sales so far this year are down 51 percent compared with the first two months of last year. The Malibu has been one of GM's better selling models, but its sales have been off 21 percent amid the worst U.S. sales market in 27 years. G6 sales are down 66 percent.

U.S. auto sales overall were down 39 percent through February.

More in Operations