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General Motors to temporarily halt production of nearly all US plants due to pandemic-related chip shortage overseas

General Motors to temporarily halt production of nearly all US plants due to pandemic-related chip shortage overseas

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General Motors to temporarily halt production of nearly all US plants due to pandemic-related chip shortage overseas

Semiconductor shortage: Low supply of chips impacts auto, electronicsWeakness in semiconductor supply chains is affecting everything from automobile to consumer electronics manufacturing. (March 5)Bloomberg, BloombergDETROIT — General Motors will idle nearly all its assembly plants in North America starting Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic affects production of semiconductor chips overseas.GM said its Arlington Assembly in Texas, where it makes its highly profitable full-size SUVs, will run regular production next week, along with Flint Assembly in Michigan, where it makes its heavy-duty pickups, Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky, where it makes its Corvette, and a portion of Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan, where it will make some Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac Blackwing cars.But all other assembly plants in North America will idle starting Monday. “All the announcements we made today are related to the chips shortage, the only plant down that’s not related to that, is Orion Assembly,” said GM spokesman Dan Flores, referring to that plant’s shutdown over Chevy Bolt recall issues.The industry already has been experiencing a global shortage of the chips, used in a variety of car parts, since early this year. The chips are also used in small electronics and as more workers and children stayed home from work and school last year during the pandemic, demand for personal electronics, such as laptops, rose and created a shortage of chips. Automakers have had to either temporarily idle production or build vehicles just shy of all the parts to await chip parts to finish production and ship the vehicles to showrooms. New car inventory has remained tight and prices high.More: GM recalls all Chevy Bolts for fire risk at cost of an extra $1 billion”COVID is driving supply constraints in countries that produce semiconductor chips,” Flores said. “But I can’t say if it’s because employees have a high rate of infection or if it’s the government putting restrictions on plants due to the pandemic.”Activity will continue in places like Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana and Silao Assembly in Mexico, where light-duty full-size pickups are made, even if production halts.”During the downtime, we will repair and ship unfinished vehicles from many impacted plants, including Fort Wayne and Silao, to dealers to help meet the strong customer demand for our products,” Flores said. “Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, we remain confident in our team’s ability to continue finding creative solutions to minimize the impact on our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles.”More: Tesla reportedly on autopilot system slams into police car parked on side of highwayHere are the production changes GM is making at the affected plants:Fort Wayne and Silao Assembly plants to take a week of downtime starting Monday. GM expects to restart regular production on Sept. 13.Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, where GM builds its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups and Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, will take downtime for two weeks starting Monday.CAMI Assembly (Canada) and San Luis Potosi Assembly (Mexico) will take two additional weeks of downtime through the week of Sept. 27. Production of the Chevrolet Equinox midsize SUV, which GM makes at both facilities, has been down since Aug. 16. San Luis Potosi also builds the GMC Terrain midsize SUV.Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Michigan adds two weeks of downtime starting Monday. GM expects to resume production there the week of Sept. 20. GM makes the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave midsize SUVs at Lansing Delta Township.Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee, where GM builds the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6 midsize SUVs, adds two weeks of downtime starting Monday. GM expects to restart production the week of Sept. 20.Ramos Assembly in Mexico will take two additional weeks of downtime for Chevrolet Blazer midsize SUV production through the week of Sept. 13.  In addition, Equinox production will be down until Oct. 4. Production of the Chevrolet Equinox has been down since Aug. 16.Flores said, “What we announced this morning is what we know now. I can’t speculate if something will be announced next week or if there’ll be additional impacts. We manage this on a day-to-day basis.”Follow Jamie L. LaReau on Twitter: @jlareauan


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