GM announced it would halt Silverado production for two weeks at its North American plants.
Two idled plants include Fort Wayne, Indiana and Silao Assembly in Guanajuato, Mexico — both of which produce the company’s best-selling Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra. This month, production cuts will also hit six other plants, including the Wentzville, Missouri plant that builds GM’s vans and midsize trucks.
The downtime comes as the global semiconductor shortage lingers on, particularly as plants in southeast Asia reel from recent surges during the coronavirus pandemic. These plants produce a significant portion of chips needed across multiple industries, creating even bigger headaches as new inventory is already thin on the ground for most automakers. An Associated Press report (published on Autoblog) cites LMC Automotive president of global vehicle forecasting Jeff Schuster, who says the shortage “now appears to be accelerating in the wrong direction.”
As demand rebounds from record drop-offs in 2020, buyers are still clamoring for new trucks. However, extremely tight inventory and high prices are sending brand sales into another tailspin — one that won’t be quickly corrected as plants remain idle due to chip supply issues. It’s not just GM either, by any stretch. Toyota announced it would cut global production by 40% in September. Ford, for its part, also extended downtime at its Kansas City Assembly Plant — one that builds the popular F-150. Plants in Dearborn, Michigan and Louisville, Kentucky also face shift cuts, though the automaker is trying to keep some truck production moving.
When the Blue Oval reported its sales for August, F-Series figures were down 22.5% from a year ago, with Ford dealers selling 57,321 trucks.
During September, GM will cut production at several of its crossover plants, including the Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan. Other facilities going off line for at least two weeks are the Spring Hill plant in Tennessee, the Ramos Arizpe and San Luis Potosi plants in Mexico, and the CAMI Assembly Plant in Canada.
U.S. automakers reportedly had under 1 million new vehicles on lots in August 2021 — a third of an inventory level of 3.58 million new vehicles in August 2019.
Despite production issues, automakers including GM are still developing new products for the near-term, including the Chevy Silverado ZR2: