GM Prioritizing Pickup Production Over Crossovers, Sedans


General Motors will resume full-size pickup assembly next week, leaving its crossovers will have to continue enduring production hang-ups related to the semiconductor shortage. American manufacturers have been absolutely creamed by supply shortages this year and a lack of chips really hurt pickup volumes. We’ve seen a lot of creative solutions, including automakers putting unfinished vehicles on the lot in hopes that they can install the missing hardware later.

But GM’s latest solution involves prioritizing Michigan’s Flint Assembly, Indiana’s Fort Wayne Assembly, Silao Assembly in Mexico — all of which were previously idled or operating on reduced schedules. Unfortunately, that means giving other North American facilities more downtime and, sadly, plenty of it. 

According to Automotive News, this includes Kansas City’s Fairfax Assembly — which has been idled since February — and five other factories located in North America. The facility was supposed to return to normal at the start of this month, which was later revised for the end of August. However, the newest plan leaves Cadillac XT4 production offline until September 20th, with Chevrolet Malibu assembly now being a giant question mark.

Lansing Grand River Assembly, responsible for the Cadillac CT4 and CT5, has been down since May and just got a two-week extension on its current production leave. Assembly isn’t likely to resume until the very end of August.

San Luis Potosi Assembly has enjoyed more production time than most North American facilities this year. But it’s getting another three weeks of downtime before resuming production of the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. Those models will be back on the assembly line on August 23rd.

That just leaves GM’s Lansing Delta Township, Spring Hill, and Ramos Arizpe facilities — all of which will be getting just one more week off. But we’ve learned not to assume anything in 2021, especially since this is just one of dozens of scheduling changes that had to be revised by automakers. If chip supplies don’t stabilize, we anticipate the manufacturer prioritizing Lansing — so it can get more Chevrolet Traverses and Buick Enclaves on the lot Ramos Arizpe — which builds the Chevy Blazer and Equinox — also has a good chance of getting preferential treatment. Though the whole gang is supposed to be fully operational by August 2nd.

General Motors is just one automaker contending with this industrywide disaster, however. This week saw Mercedes-Benz and BMW also cutting production, citing supply chain problems. Meanwhile, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida was expressing his pensiveness about the ongoing semiconductor shortage to the media despite his company turning a profit for the first time in a while.

“Knowing the current situation … we cannot be optimistic,” Uchida told CNBC on Wednesday. “I think this is day-by-day still.”

[Image: General Motors]

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