General Motors may be forced to delay the rollout of its redesigned and refreshed 2021 model year vehicles due to complications brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Detroit News, General Motors has instructed some of its supplier partners to halt their preparations for its 2021 model year vehicles, with the automaker now planning to launch the products for the 2022 model year instead.
Among the vehicles affected by this decision will be the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, as well as the refreshed Cadillac XT4, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers. The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV and the 2021 Chevrolet Camaro will also be delayed.
GM Authority was the first publication to report the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks would receive interior updates and were also first to report those updates would be arriving for the 2022 model year.
In addition, the arrival of the 2021 full-size SUV lineup might also be delayed. The SUVs, which include the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade, were originally slated to enter production at GM’s Arlington Assembly plant in late April. The automaker urged employees at Arlington to return to work this week in order to complete production of the outgoing models, which must happen in order to begin producing the all-new 2021 models.
In a statement sent to The Detroit News, GM confirmed that its development teams around the globe “are looking for opportunities to conserve resources by adjusting program timing and deferring spending.”
The automaker does not expect future product programs such as the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Cadillac Lyriq crossover and Cruise Origin shuttle to be affected by the pandemic shutdown. It is also sticking to its timeline for the rollout of its advanced new Ultium lithium-ion battery pack.
It’s not clear when GM’s production lines will come back online. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises businesses to stay closed until April 30, but both Ford and FCA plan to resume production in the US by April 14. GM Spokesman Jim Cain said there is currently no “magic date” for when its production lines will restart.
“What you will probably see is different plants coming up at different points in time and we promised our suppliers and manufacturing partners that we would be in regular contact about this,” Cain told The Detroit News.
Industry analysts believe many automakers will wait to restart production, however, as vehicle demand is currently very low and dealers have an abundance of vehicle supply. Some GM dealers have begun offering generous incentives and steep discounts on certain vehicles in an effort to drive sales amid the pandemic-driven downturn.
US vehicle sales are expected to fall by as much as 40 percent year-over-year this month. Last Friday’s retail vehicle sales were down 55% from the same day a year prior.
Source: The Detroit News