DETROIT -- General Motors Co. is planning to make more Cadillac SRX crossovers, in part to supply reinstated franchises, a Cadillac executive said Tuesday.
"We have some plans to increase production, but probably not till the fourth quarter," said Kurt McNeil, Cadillac's U.S. sales chief, in an interview.
About 500 former wind-down Cadillac franchises are rejoining the fold this summer via reinstatement or arbitration after being prohibited from ordering new vehicles for about a year. GM's need to restock their lots and the expectation of growth in U.S. light-vehicle demand figure in to the automaker's plan to increase production.
"They all want SRXs right away," McNeil said of reinstated dealers. Usually, those dealers can't get as many SRXs as they think they can sell, and some dealers sell out of the crossovers before a new batch arrives.
"On an SRX, there isn't more to get" between monthly allocations, McNeil said.
The redesigned 2010 SRX was launched last summer, and inventories have been below the ideal 60-day supply since September, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The SRX started June with a 57-day supply.
GM's plant in Ramos Arizpe assembles the SRX, two Mexican-market products and the Chevrolet HHR, expected to disappear after the 2011 model year. The factory supplies the SRX mainly to North America and China, and in February GM said it would start exporting the crossover to Europe this summer.
The plans continue post-bankruptcy GM's trend to increase North American production, mainly by adding shifts at six of its 16 operating assembly plants.