General Motors is currently stockpiling partially finished crossovers in a rented Michigan State University parking lot as it awaits the necessary microchips required to complete the vehicles.
According to The Lansing State Journal, GM leased a parking lot on the south side of the MSU campus through a subcontractor at a cost of $75,000 for three months. The automaker needed additional space to store certain examples of the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave mid-size crossovers, which are awaiting the installation of certain semiconductor chips before they can be shipped out to dealers and sold.
A GM spokesperson told The Lansing State Journal the automaker is building partially finished examples of certain vehicles so it can quickly complete them and ship them to dealers once it has access to more microchips in the coming months.
“We have said that when there is a shortage of semiconductors that impacts production, in some cases we intend to build vehicles without certain modules and will complete them as soon as possible,” the spokesperson, Erin Davis, told the publication in an email. “This will help us quickly meet strong customer demand as more semiconductors become available.”
Both the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave are built at the nearby GM Lansing Delta Township plant, which was idled for a two-week period in April due to a chip shortage. Like many other crossovers, both models are in relatively high demand, so building partially completed examples allows GM to mitigate the effects of the chip shortage, even if it doesn’t have all the semiconductors it needs to complete them right away.
The automaker has already filled other storage lots it owns around the Lansing area with partially completed vehicles, The Lansing State Journal said, forcing it to turn to the university for help. GM has also agreed to pay any additional costs related to security or police work to protect the lot from thieves or vandals.
GM isn’t the only automaker building partially-completed vehicles in order to mitigate the effects of the global chip shortage. Its crosstown rival at Ford made headlines earlier this month after citizens spotted thousands of partially completed Ford F-150s being stockpiled in an unused lot near Kentucky Motor Speedway awaiting chips. The automaker has also been storing the vehicles at various lots around Michigan as it looks for a solution to the chip supply shortage.