More than 10,000 built-shy full-size GM SUVs are currently parked around central Texas, according to a new report from The Detroit Free Press.
GM has been building partially-finished examples of its full-size truck and SUV models amid the global chip shortage, allowing it to quickly complete the vehicles once it receives the chips and other electronic components it needs. This plan, referred to as the build-shy strategy, has allowed GM to keep its most important and profitable vehicles in production while the chip shortage continues to cripple the North American auto industry.
The Arlington Assembly plant, which builds the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yulon XL and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, has so far taken no downtime amid the chip shortage thanks to the build-shy strategy. The plant is still feeling the effects of the chip shortage, though, with partially-finished GM SUVs rapidly piling up in inventory lots across Texas. According to The Detroit Free Press, more than 1,000 vehicles are being parked in the inventory lots per-day, with more than 10,500 vehicles currently in storage.
In a conference call with industry analysts on Wednesday, GM CFO Paul Jacobson said the build-shy strategy has so far been working in GM’s favor.
“We think truck production and full-size SUV (production) is relatively stable,” Jacobson said. “The vehicles built without certain modules is a strong option for us — we are redeploying chips to those vehicles from the plants that are down.”
While the production of GM SUVs is being helped along by the build-shy strategy, it has only had to rely on such measures for a small number of full-size pickups, Jacobson said. That’s because the majority of semiconductor chips GM gets are being funnelled to its full-size pickup plants, as the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are its two most popular and profitable models.
GM has also been building some vehicles without certain technologies in order to cut back on the number of chips it uses per vehicle. For example, some full-size truck models are being built without Active Fuel Management, Dynamic Fuel Management or HD Radio.