DETROIT -- General Motors' mid-sized SUVs are aging and the segment is cooling, but the second shift at GM's Oklahoma City plant has been spared - at least for the time being.
A shift reduction scheduled to begin June 27 has been postponed because demand for GM's mid-sized SUVs has increased, the automaker says.
Elimination of the shift would have affected about 830 of the plant's 2,500 hourly workers.
The Oklahoma City plant makes the Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT, GMC Envoy XL and Envoy Denali XL, and Isuzu Ascender.
Last month, GM told workers that it was eliminating the second shift because of a downturn in SUV sales.
"Recent data gave us more confidence to maintain the shift and have more volume," says GM spokesman Stefan Weinmann.
The long-term future of the second shift isn't clear."We don't want to say it won't happen at all," Weinmann says. "Right now, we are able to maintain two shifts."
Already this year, GM has ended production of the Oklahoma-built Envoy XUV. And sales of the TrailBlazer and Envoy are off substantially. Through April, GM sold 65,291 TrailBlazers, down from 81,217 in the year-ago period, and 30,716 Envoys, down from 41,230 a year ago.
Current plans call for production to continue on those vehicles through 2007, supplier and industry sources say.
The plant will be down during the weeks of June 13 and June 20 and the first two weeks of July, as previously scheduled.
Calls to UAW Local 1999 in Oklahoma City were not immediately returned.
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