The novel coronavirus, which has now been given the name COVID-19, is taking its toll on the Chinese economy. Many Chinese businesses and factories have been off work for an extended period of time due to the outbreak of the virus, and while much of the country was scheduled to return to work on Monday, things have been slow to get back up to speed.
Chinese businesses aren’t the ones affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. General Motors announced this week that it would suspend production of the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Encore GX crossovers at its plant in Incheon, South Korea due to a Chinese parts shortage, though the shutdown is only expected to last two days and shouldn’t have a major impact on the supply of the vehicles.
GM may now be facing a much more serious parts shortage problem due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though. According to The Detroit Bureau, the UAW sent a letter to employees at GM’s Flint Assembly Plant this week warning them of two potential coming parts shortages that could affect the production of the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.
“We had a much more in-depth report from the materials department about the impact on our parts supply. They have given up on their everything is fine message. In February, we have parts that potentially will be impacted. They are both decal applications so we will build shy if we run out,” the UAW memo said. “However, if this continues in March, there will be more significant parts impacted. The first being trailer harnesses. The company is still trying to develop a process to run shy and still pass PTT and DVT.”
The memo also said the supplier of the trailer harnesses is currently trying to sort out the logistics of shipping amid the quarantine and will prioritize Flint Assembly over GM’s other truck plant, Fort Wayne Assembly, and its full-size SUV plant, Arlington Assembly.
“The company has leased two cargo planes and also been able to get the government to release two of them,” it said. “They are hoping to improve shipments. The company has set Flint has a priority plant and will sacrifice volume at Arlington and Fort Wayne to keep us running.”
GM was already grappling with supply issues with its HD trucks. The automaker implemented mandatory overtime at Flint Assembly earlier this month in an effort to replenish its HD pickup truck inventory, which it ran down during the 40-day UAW strike last year. Demand for the vehicles has made it difficult for it to build a supply of the trucks back up, as well.
“As we mentioned prior to entering into emergency status at the end of last year, we are facing an extraordinary challenge – customer demand for our HD truck continues to increase but dealer stocks have not stabilized,” the automaker said in an employee memo announcing the overtime shifts.
Source: The Detroit Bureau