GM's summer vacation may last a lot longer than 9 weeks

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that, amid falling sales and rising inventories, General Motors (GM) appears to be planning to shut down most of its factories for nine weeks this summer. While some may remain open to continue producing the automaker's most popular cars, even those are likely to reduce production.

This move comes on the heels of a 49 percent drop in first quarter sales, compared with the same period last year. The automaker, which is subsisting on $13.4 billion in government loans, currently has a six-month supply of many of its car and truck models. Given that this should easily take it into the new model year, the summer shutdown seems well-timed.