General Motors will delay adding a second shift to its newly reopened North American truck assembly plants due to a parts shortage.
According to Reuters, GM had planned to add a second shift at its truck plants in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Flint, Michigan and Silao, Mexico as early as next week, but has now delayed the move due to parts shortages from factories in Mexico. Mexican vehicle production plants only began to come back online this week after the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, declared vehicle assembly plants an essential business.
In a statement sent to Reuters, GM spokesman Dan Flores said “demand for our full size picks has been very strong so we are certainly exploring ways to add production and will do that when it makes sense,” in the coming weeks.
GM previously said it planned to return to a full, three-shift production rotation at its Fort Wayne, Flint and Silao plants by as early as June 1st, but it’s not clear if this timeline is still in place. The company has also said it plans to return to full production capacity at all of its North American plants by mid-to-late June, though this goal may also be pushed back due to parts shortages from suppliers in the U.S. and abroad.
GM dealers have experienced a glut of pickup truck inventory in recent weeks, with demand for the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado remaining strong even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the automaker was already trying to establish a backlog of pickup supply before the pandemic hit after the 2019 UAW strike caused it to run low on inventory for both the Sierra and Silverado.
The automaker will also be keen to reopen its Arlington Assembly plant in Texas, which is building its new line of full-size SUVs. GM opened many of its U.S. production plants this past Monday, but is waiting until next week to reopen Arlington Assembly.