General Motors Corp. said Monday it will cut production by another 117,000 vehicles, citing continued weak in consumer demand for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
GM spokesman Tony Sapienza said the Detroit-based automaker will achieve the cuts by eliminating one shift each at its Moraine, Ohio, and Shreveport, Louisiana, plants. Most of the cuts will affect production of trucks and sport utility vehicles.
The Moraine plant makes the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Ranier, Isuzu Ascender, Saab 9-7x midsize SUVs, while the Shreveport plant currently produces the GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado and Hummer H3.
The cuts bring GM's total production cuts to just under the 300,000 units company officials had hoped to cut this year, Sapienza said.
GM also is looking at the possibility of idling production at other truck and SUV plants later this year to further align its offerings with consumer demand, he said.
Record-high gas prices and a weak overall economy have led to a steep drop in U.S. sales of trucks and SUVs this year, as consumers have opted for small, more fuel-efficient passenger cars or put off buying new vehicles all together.
GM's U.S. sales were down about 16 percent for the first half of this year, largely as a result of a plunge in truck sales, and it's not the only automaker facing lower demand.
Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp., which outsold GM by 277,532 vehicles worldwide in the first six months of this year, cut its global sales forecast earlier Monday by 350,000 vehicles to 9.5 million, blaming sluggish North American sales.
Toyota also is shifting production from SUVs and trucks to smaller models. It said earlier this month that it plans to shut down truck and SUV production at its U.S. plants for three months starting in August, and it will start building the Prius hybrid in the U.S. for the first time in 2010.
GM shares fell 42 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $11.48 in midday trading.