GM cuts unnecessary spending after Japan disaster

AP News
Posted: Mar 19, 2011 4:25 PM
GM cuts unnecessary spending after Japan disaster

GM said Saturday it is cutting unnecessary spending companywide as it assesses the impact of production disruptions from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The move will help the automaker preserve cash as it deals with the financial implications from shortages of parts made in Japan, a company spokesman said. The cost-cutting effort, which includes travel, took effect last week and will be in place for an undetermined period.

The news follows General Motors Corp.'s announcement Friday that two of three shifts will be canceled at a plant in Eisenach, Germany on Monday and Tuesday. Another plant in Zaragoza, Spain will remain closed Monday. The plants produce the Corsa compact car.

In the U.S., GM said Thursday it will halt production at its pickup plant in Shreveport, Louisiana, next week.

"The whole industry is still in the process of figuring out what the implications are from the disaster in Japan," said GM spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin.

On Friday, Honda Motor Co. said it expects to resume auto and motorcycle production in Japan on Wednesday. But in an e-mail Thursday to U.S. dealers, it said it can't guarantee when production will return to full capacity.

The carmaker also asked dealers to suspend May orders for Japan-made vehicles because they may be needed to fill existing orders that have been delayed because of disruptions. Typically, dealers order cars six weeks in advance.

More than 80 percent of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the U.S. are made in North America. Models sold in North America but made in Japan are the Fit, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Insight, Acura TSX, Acura RL and a small number of CR-Vs.