GM expects rise in Cobalt sales
GM is considering boosting its Cobalt sales forecast by 24,000.
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
LORDSTOWN -- General Motors is expecting increased sales of the Chevrolet Cobalt, leading to more overtime work at its Lordstown complex.
Management said it may increase its Cobalt sales forecast for 2007 by 24,000, United Auto Workers Local 1112 leaders said in a flier.
Dan Flores, a GM spokesman, said today that he couldn't comment on the company's sales forecast but did confirm that more overtime has been authorized so the plant can increase production. GM constantly monitors the market and adjusts production schedules when needed, he said.
Approved for OT
The plant has been approved for daily overtime on regular shifts and for extra shifts on Saturdays, Flores said. The daily overtime can include an additional 60 minutes or 90 minutes at the end of a shift.
Jim Graham, president of UAW Local 1112 at the assembly plant, could not be reached to comment. The flier said the potential increase in the sales forecast could mean more overtime than had been scheduled.
The complex previously had scheduled production on five Saturdays in September and October to make additional cars. The complex normally produces cars Monday through Friday.
Jim Kaster, president of UAW Local 1714 at the fabricating plant, said he expected to learn more about overtime scheduling Tuesday. He has been told, however, that some departments there will be working nine-hour shifts.
Flores said the company has not added any workers to Lordstown from other plants.
Staffing at the complex has been cut as 1,600 of its 5,300 hourly workers accepted early retirement or buyout incentives in June. The complex eliminated its midnight shift in July, reducing its need for workers. The line speed on the remaining shifts was increased, however.
GM sold 212,700 Cobalts in 2005, the first full year of production for the car. Through August of this year, GM has sold 163,300 Cobalts, which is up 10 percent over last year's pace. The Cobalt replaced the Chevrolet Cavalier, which recorded 256,600 sales in 2003, its last full year of production.
In other matters, the Local 1112 flier said union officials and management will hold initial discussions the week of Sept. 11 regarding the union's local contract. The two sides will gauge how far apart they are on certain issues, it said.
Local and national labor contracts expire next year.