Fairfax Assembly, which builds the Chevy Malibu sedan and Cadillac XT4 crossover, has been shut down since early February due to a supply shortage of microchips. The automaker provided an update on the situation as Fairfax this week, confirming it will keep the plant idled until at least the first week of July.
In a statement, GM said it is staying in contact with chip suppliers to monitor the situation and will prioritize its most popular models, such as full-size trucks and SUVs, while the chip shortage lasts.
“We continue to work closely with our supply base to mitigate the short-term impact and 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.
Similarly, the automaker confirmed this week that its San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico will take downtime May 17th to the 24th, while the Ramos Arizpe plant in the country will remain idle between May 3rd and May 24th. The San Luis Potosi facility builds the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain, while Ramos Arizpe produces the Chevy Blazer and Equinox.
The automaker’s Wentzville Assembly plant in Missouri has also moved from three shifts to two amid the chip shortage. The Wentzville plant produces the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups, along with the Chevy Express and GMC Savana utility vans.
GM remains hopeful that it will be able to make up for lost production later in the year, but with demand for microchips continuing to outpace supply and production, the shortage could have a bigger effect on auto production this year than many experts initially thought. GM Rival Ford cut its second-quarter production outlook by half in its Q1 earnings report over the chip supply issue and said the shortage could last into early 2022.
Roughly 75 percent of the world’s microchips are produced in Asia. The United States, by comparison, has about 12 percent of the world’s chip manufacturing capacity.