It's nothing to worry about, said GM spokesman James Cain. "We try to run our plants at high capacity utilization levels and to operate some on three shifts," Cain said. "It's more efficient to do that to then to make occasional adjustments through downtime.
"We've been pretty good about making production adjustments to manage stock levels," he continued. "We're not planning to do anything different. We use a lot of levers to make sure we don't overproduce. What we won't do is to lose discipline on pricing and incentives. We've gotten our incentives more in line with the industry, and it's critical that we don't go back."
Meanwhile, Citibank analyst Itay Michaeli, reporting on a recent meeting with Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann, wrote in a note that management "sounded cautiously optimistic around the pricing environment (in Europe), which appears to be showing some signs of stabilization," and was also upbeat about China. Regarding the falling yen, GM seemed to reflect the view that Ford executives shared recently with Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold: They have seen no evidence of higher incentives from Japanese manufacturers. Michaeli has a buy on GM with a target price of $35.
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