General Motors is idling more plants and extending shutdowns at other facilities in North America due to a continuing shortage of semiconductor chips used to control a myriad of operations in vehicles, including infotainment, power steering and braking systems.
In an update Thursday, GM said eight assembly plants are affected by the temporary shutdowns. CNBC was the first to report temporary plant closures. GM has confirmed the TechCrunch shutdowns and added that it plans to restart production next week at its assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri.
“GM continues to take advantage of all available semiconductors to build and ship our most popular and demanded products, including trucks and full-size SUVs to our customers,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. . “Our intention is to compensate as much as possible for the lost production in these factories.”
As the global chip shortage dragged on, automakers, including GM and Ford, had to slow down their factories and reorganize their resources to produce higher-margin vehicles like SUVs. GM told TechCrunch it hasn’t taken downtime or reduced shifts at any of its full-size truck or full-size SUV factories due to the shortage. It also prompted automakers to build vehicles without specific parts. For example, GM said last month that some pickup trucks will be produced without a fuel management module, a device that will prevent these vehicles from achieving peak fuel economy performance.
Automakers have also released indications of how the shortage will affect financial results in 2021. Ford has said if the semiconductor shortage scenario continues into the first half of 2021, the shortage could lower its profits. between $ 1 and $ 2.5 billion, net of costs. recoveries and some catching up in production in the second half of the year.
GM said in February that the global semiconductor shortage will have a short-term impact on its production, profits and cash flow in 2021.
GM’s Spring Hill assembly in Tennessee, which builds the Cadillac XT5, Cadillac XT6 and GMC Acadia, will be closed for two weeks starting 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 plant during the week of April 19.
GM has also extended downtime at Lansing Grand River Assembly until 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 of its CAMI assembly plant in Canada and the Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas, where the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4 are extended until May 10. CAMI and Fairfax have been down since the week of February 8. GM said.
GM’s Bupyeong 2 assembly in Korea has been running at half capacity since February 8, and its Gravataí plant in Brazil is taking downtime for April and May.