The American automaker announced the plant closures Wednesday, which come amid a shortage of semiconductor chips.
The San Luis Potosí plant currently produces the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain compact crossovers, while Ramos Arizpe is responsible for producing the compact Chevy Equinox and the mid-size Chevy Blazer crossovers.
According to The Detroit Free Press, there are currently “thousands,” of unfinished crossovers being stockpiled by GM due to a shortage of semiconductor chips. By storing unfinished vehicles, the automaker can quickly complete production on them once it receives the semiconductor chips it needs to do so.
GM is maintaining a strategy of prioritizing the limited semiconductor chips it has for its most profitable vehicles, which include its full-size trucks and SUV model lines. It has also turned to removing certain options from these vehicles in order to maintain adequate production levels, including Active Fuel Management, Dynamic Fuel Management, Automatic Stop/Start and HD Radio. The automaker also announced this week that it would be removing the standard wireless charging pad from certain 2022 Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse crossovers in order to cut back on its semiconductor chip usage.
“The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid,” GM spokesman David Barnas told the Free Press this week. “But GM’s global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to maximize production of our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs.”
Global research and advisory company Gartner Inc. has said the chip shortage “will severely disrupt the supply chain and will constrain the production of many electronic equipment types in 2021.” The research group also predicts the chip shortage will persist throughout 2021 and will not subside until at least the first quarter of 2022. It’s therefore likely GM will continue to face production setbacks as a result of chip shortages over the next six months or more.