Have you heard the one about the dead cars? No, not the ones we find in junkyards, but the ones that haven’t had life yet, thanks to the chip shortage.
These so-called “dead” cars are vehicles that have rolled off the assembly line, otherwise ready for sale, sitting in fields or on lots near the factories that produced them, just waiting for chips
The New York Times even recently recounted an anecdote from a dealer principal who took a pilgrimage to a Ford factory to see all the “dead” cars for himself.
We weren’t able to pin down a reliable estimate on how many dead cars there are sitting outside of factories, but we’re going to guess the number is a lot.
And that number is set to grow, as GM announced that plants in Indiana, Michigan, and Mexico that produce the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will halt next week, thanks to, you guessed it, the chip shortage.
GM had so far avoided chip-related shutdowns by skipping some features, and by … building some trucks and adding the chips in later. See how that “dead” car anecdote links to today’s news story?
Of course, halting production is a step beyond finishing vehicles and letting them sit until the chip cavalry arrives.
“The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid, but GM’s global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to minimize the impact to our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” the company said in a statement.
Leaving vehicles partially finished and cutting out certain features are just two solutions for automakers struggling through an unusual time.[Image: GM]
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