South Korea is allowing auto chip manufacturers to sidestep certain COVID-19 quarantine requirements in an effort to speed up production amid the ongoing global semiconductor supply shortage.
According to Reuters, South Korea will exempt business people working to help resolve supply chain issues in the chip industry from COVID-19 quarantine requirements when travelling in and out of the country. Additionally, the country has agreed to prioritise COVID-19 vaccinations for those critical to the supply and production of the microchips, which are used in the manufacture of vehicles, consumer electronics, medical equipment and more.
The Korean government has also said that it will help speed up performance evaluations for chips and other related components manufactured by domestic companies. South Korea is home to some of the world’s largest chip manufacturers, including Samsung, SK hynix, Telechips and DI Corporation.
GM was forced to extend production shutdowns at three of its North American assembly plants last week due to the ongoing auto chip shortage, including Fairfax Assembly in Kansas, San Luis Potisi Assembly in Mexico and CAMI in Canada. Its plant in Bupyeong, South Korea has also experienced production setbacks due to auto chip shortages, while the automaker’s Gravatai plant in Brazil is set to face downtime throughout April and May.
“GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” the automaker said in a statement regarding the semiconductor supply shortage. “GM has not taken downtime or reduced shifts at any of its truck plants due to the shortage. We continue to work closely with our supply base to find solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate impacts on GM.”