Sky Plant to be Shutdown for Five Weeks Due to Slumping Demand

2009 Saturn Sky

The Detroit News reported on Friday that General Motors plans to temporarily close its Wilmington, Delaware manufacturing facility for five weeks beginning today due to slow sales of the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice roadsters. The plant also builds the Opel GT and Daewoo G2X, which are exported for sale overseas.

The Wilmington plant was initially scheduled to be shutdown during the weeks of October 27th and November 3rd as a result of high vehicle inventory on retailer lots, but GM will now keep the plant closed an additional three weeks through the end of November. "We are reacting to demand for the product in the marketplace," GM spokeswoman Sherrie Childers Arb told the paper.

Looking into December, things don't look much better for the plant. Two weeks ago the company announced it would be eliminating one of the two shifts at the facility. The change would result in 400 workers being laid off indefinitely, effective December 8th. Delaware Online says "the plant currently employees 1,130 hourly workers."

Through the end of September, GM says that sales of the Saturn Sky are down 7.9% year-to-date, while the Pontiac Solstice sales have plummeted 25.9%.

Source: Detroit News, Delaware Online

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Saturn to Offer Cashback Bonus in Addition to Special Employee Pricing on Remaining 2008 Vehicles

GM Employee Pricing Logo

Yesterday General Motors announced its "GM 100th Anniversary Sales Event," offering customers employee pricing on virtually its entire lineup of in stock and remaining 2008 model year vehicles - including Saturns. The sale will run from August 20 through September 2, 2008. In addition to the special pricing, sources tell that Saturn plans to offer cashback bonus incentives on top of the discounted employee pricing.