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GM Halts Production at Nearly All U.S. Plants, Chip Shortage to Blame

The chip shortage has struck again.

General Motors is going to temporarily halt production at most of its North American assembly plants, starting Monday, because the shortage of semiconductor chips continues.

Arlington Assembly in Texas, which makes full-size SUVs, will continue to run regular production next week. As will Flint Assembly in Michigan, which is where the company builds heavy-duty pickup trucks. Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky, home of the Chevrolet Corvette, will also continue to work. Finally, Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan will have partial production. Some Chevy Camaros and Cadillac Blackwings are built there.

The rest of the company’s plants in North America will go idle on 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,” GM spokesman Dan Flores told The Detroit Free Press.

All because of the chip shortage. Except for Orion Assembly, which is already shut down due to Chevrolet Bolt recall issues.

Semiconductor chips are used in a plethora of different automotive parts, and there’s been a shortage during the pandemic as demand for personal electronics rose and as production issues, like fires, occurred.

Workers being out sick with COVID and/or COVID-related restrictions can also cause problems with semiconductor-chip production.

“COVID is driving supply constraints in countries that produce semiconductor chips,” Flores told the Freep. “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.”

This forces automakers to either halt production or build cars without the chips. In the latter scenario, cars are held until the chips can be installed before finally being shipped to dealers.

The shortage has kept new-car inventories tight, thus leading to higher prices for both new and used vehicles.

Some GM plants will remain active on some level, even if production grinds to a halt. The Freep points to Fort Wayne Assembly and Mexico’s Silao Assembly, both of which build light-duty trucks, as examples.

“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 told the paper. “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.”

He added: “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.”

The Free Press has a full list of affected changes at its site.

[Image: GM]

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