We can use statistical analyses to see how closely managers are aligning production and sales (demand), linking the two key elements of the operating cycle. This case provides data on a single product, the Chevy Cavalier, from January 2001 through October 2004 when its production ceased. The Cavalier was the sixth best-selling new car in the United States in 2000 and continued to be a very successful seller through 2003, when the total sales were marginally higher, so GM should have had some reasonable reference data on which it could rely for setting its production levels. What does the analysis of the data suggest about how well management aligns production and sales?

This is one of a collection of cases that comprise the General Motors Integrated Case, viewing GM’s business issues from multiple perspectives, devised specifically to be taught in Columbia Business School’s Core curriculum.

Case id: 112104