The Chevy Equinox and Chevy Malibu are taking the brunt of the impact of the global semiconductor shortage at General Motors, with the production output of both vehicles significantly reduced in recent months.
According to data obtained by Automotive News, the Chevy Equinox and Chevy Malibu account for roughly half of the production that GM has lost out on due to the chip shortage so far.
A report published earlier this month indicated GM has missed the production of around 79,600 vehicles in North America over the chip shortage to date, including 17,000 examples of the Chevy Equinox crossover from the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. It has also missed production of a combined 24,100 examples of the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4 from the GM Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas to date, along 12,700 vehicles in total from the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant, which builds the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac CT4 and CT5.
The automaker has been routing most of the semiconductor chips in its possession to plants that build its full-size trucks and SUVs, which are its most popular and profitable models. This should allow GM to weather the semiconductor chip shortage with minimal impact on its bottom line. The automaker said last week that it expects annual profits for 2021 to fall on the higher end of its $10 billion to $11 billion forecast – a strong result that it says is indicated of the “underlying strength” of its core business in North America and China.
The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are built at the GM Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana and GM Silao Assembly plant in Mexico, while the heavy-duty Silverado HD and Sierra HD are produced at Flint Assembly in Michigan. While GM has avoided taking full downtime at these facilities due to the shortage, it elected to build certain examples without Active Fuel Management (AFM) and Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) technologies to keep the plants up and running and preserve its microchip stockpile. Its full-size SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon are built at the GM Arlington Assembly plant in Texas.
While focusing on profit-heavy models like large trucks and SUVs will allow GM to preserve its bottom line, this could make it difficult for customers in the market for an Equinox or Malibu to find the vehicle they want a dealership. Searching on the used market could be equally as difficult for these buyers, with low new vehicle inventories driving up the prices of second-hand cars, as well.