GM idles more North American plants as chip shortage drags on – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

General Motors is idling more plants and extending shutdowns at other facilities in North America due to a continued shortage of semiconductor chips used to control various operations in vehicles, including infotainment, power steering, and brake systems. In an update Thursday, GM indicated that the temporary closures affect eight assembly plants. GM confirmed the shutdowns to TechCrunch and added that it plans to restart production next week at its Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri. CNBC was the first to report on the temporary plant closures.

GM idles more North American plants as chip shortage drags on – TechCrunch

“GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “We intend to make up as much production lost at these plants as possible. As the global chip shortage has dragged on, automakers, including GM and Ford, have had to idle plants and shuffle resources to produce higher-margin vehicles like SUVs. GM told TechCrunch that it had not taken downtime or reduced shifts at any of its full-size truck or SUV plants due to the shortage.

GM said in February that the global shortage of semiconductors would have a short-term impact on its production, earnings, and cash flow in 2021. It’s also prompted automakers to build vehicles without specific parts. For instance, GM said last month that particular pickup trucks would be produced without a fuel management module. This device will prevent these vehicles from achieving top fuel economy performance. Automakers have also issued guidance on how the shortage will affect financial results in 2021. Ford has said that if the semiconductor shortage scenario is extended through the first half of 2021, the need could lower its earnings between $1 billion and $2.5 billion, net of cost recoveries and some production make-up in the second half the year.

GM’s Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee, which builds the Cadillac XT5, Cadillac XT6, and GMC Acadia, will shut down for two weeks, beginning April 12. GM is temporarily halting production of the Chevrolet Blazer at the Ramos Assembly in Mexico and the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave at the Lansing Delta Township factory during the week of April 19.

GM also extended downtime at Lansing Grand River Assembly through the week of April 26. This plant, which builds the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, has been down since March 15.

The automaker is extending the shutdown at its CAMI Assembly plant in Canada and the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas, where the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4 are raised, through May 10. Both CAMI and Fairfax have been down since February 8, GM said. GM’s Bupyeong 2 Assembly in Korea has been operating at half capacity since February 8, and its Gravataí plant in Brazil is taking downtime for April and May.

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