General Motors is at present unable to offer two options for the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, 2021 Chevy Suburban and 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs owing to the microchip shortage that is affecting the auto industry.
One of the options is the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension (production code F47) which is optional on the Chevy Tahoe Z71 and High Country, the Chevy Suburban Z71 and High Country, and the GMC Yukon AT4 and Denali. The other is the Max Trailering Package (production code NHT) which is optional on all Chevy Tahoe, Suburban and GMC Yukon trim levels, but is included in several optional high-end packages.
In fact, GM Authority has learned from sources close to the issue that General Motors is now cancelling Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon/Yukon XL orders that contain the NHT option. Specifically, GM cancelled nearly 3,000 2021 Yukon/Yukon XL orders on Thursday that contain the NHT Max Trailering Package across the U.S. If dealers want to keep their production dates, they will need to remove the NHT Max Trailering Package or packages that include the option.
It is not yet clear whether the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is also affected by this problem. However, the items mentioned above are offered on the Escalade just as well, and it is built on the same GM T1 platform as the Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon. GM Authority has reached out to GM for comment but has not received a response at time of publication.
However, independent sources tell GM Authority that General Motors is currently looking for ways to mitigate the impact of the microchip shortage, which is also also impacting other manufacturers. Ford has had to suspend production at the Louisville, Kentucky plant where the Escape and Lincoln Corsair are assembled and Fiat Chrysler, which is in the process of becoming part of the new Stellantis conglomerate, has done the same at its Brampton, Ontario plant, home of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. FCA has also delayed the restart of production in Toluca, Mexico, where it builds the Jeep Compass.
Production of Toyota vehicles in Texas and Subarus in Gunma, Japan and Lafayette, Indiana appears to be continuing, but at reduced levels. Honda and Daimler do not seem to be affected yet, but are monitoring the situation closely.
There are several reasons for the shortage, but one of the most significant is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Automakers who shut down factories due to safety concerns have attempted to compensate for lack of production now that they have re-opened, creating a spike in demand.
Meanwhile, sales of gaming consoles and other consumer electronic products, which use the same basic microchips, have been very high in the past year, due to an increase in (enforced) leisure time. This has put pressure on the supply chain, which is finding it difficult to meet the demand of the resurgent auto industry.
It is almost impossible to tell when the problem will be resolved, but some analysts believe it will continue until at least the third quarter of 2021.