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GM to pause pickup production again because of chips shortage

Aug. 3, 2021 Updated Tue., Aug. 3, 2021 at 4:01 p.m.

General Motors Flint Assembly employees Al Havens and Dan Hippensteel work on a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD truck during final assembly Tuesday, August 4, 2015, in Flint, Michigan.  (Steve Fecht)
General Motors Flint Assembly employees Al Havens and Dan Hippensteel work on a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD truck during final assembly Tuesday, August 4, 2015, in Flint, Michigan. (Steve Fecht)
Jamie L. LaReau Detroit Free Press

General Motors will pause production of its popular pickup trucks again starting Monday.

The automaker will also extend downtime at some SUV plants, all because of the ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage.

“The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid,” said GM spokesman David Barnas, noting that GM’s global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to work with suppliers to find solutions to minimize the impact of the shortage on GM’s highest-demand vehicles.

But GM did have to idle production at Flint Assembly in Michigan, Silao Assembly in Mexico and Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana for a week and restarted them on Monday because of the parts shortfall.

On Tuesday, the automaker said it will take downtime again at all three plants all next week starting Monday. It is expected to resume full production at all three plants Aug. 16.

GM builds the full-size heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups at Flint. It builds its full-size light-duty models of those pickups at Fort Wayne and Silao.

“The recent scheduling adjustments have been driven by temporary parts shortages caused by semiconductor supply constraints from international markets experiencing COVID-19-related restrictions,” Barnas said.

The downtime, Barnas said, allows GM to complete partially finished vehicles at the impacted assembly plants and ship those units to dealers.

Besides the impact to its pickup production, Barnas said that production at Lansing Delta Township Assembly will remain down an additional week. It had been scheduled to resume production Monday. It has been down since July 19. GM builds the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave SUVs at Lansing Delta Township.

Production at GM’s San Luis Potosi Assembly in Mexico and CAMI Assembly in Ontario, Canada, will add two weeks of downtime, expecting to restart Sept. 6. Both have been idle since July 19. GM builds Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs at San Luis Potosi and CAMI builds the Chevrolet Equinox.

Barnas confirmed that GM will restart production at its Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee, where GM builds the Cadillac XT5, Cadillac XT6 and GMC Acadia SUVs, and Ramos Assembly in Mexico, where GM builds the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox SUVs, on Monday. Both have been down since July 19.

Since early this year, the auto industry has had to either idle assembly plants or build vehicles shy of all the parts and wait for parts. The result is thin inventory on dealer lots.

The chips, made mostly in Taiwan, are used in a variety of electronics. They are in tight supply after demand for them rose during the COVID-19 pandemic as people bought laptops and other personal electronics that also use them.

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