General Motors confirmed it will temporarily idle its Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana and Silao Assembly plant in Mexico later this month, citing a lack of semiconductor chips. It’s currently not clear how long this shutdown will last. Six other North American GM production plants will also be idled in September.
GM also idled its pickup plants for one week in August due to the chip shortage. The automaker previously tried to avoid taking downtime at its truck plants amid the chip shortage, as the Silverado and Sierra are its best-selling and most profitable products, but it has been unable to secure the necessary chips it needs to keep the plants running as usual in recent weeks.
To keep its truck and SUV production lines up and running, GM has begun building certain vehicles without various technologies, including active fuel management, dynamic fuel management and HD Radio. It has also been producing unfinished vehicles and storing them in nearby parking lots, allowing it to pull the vehicles back into the plant and quickly complete them once it receives the chips it needs – which it calls a “build shy” strategy.
U.S. sales of the Chevy Silverado were up 34.55 percent to 164,731 units through the first six months of 2021, while GMC Sierra sales rose 40.26 percent to 75,595 units. The large year-over-year sales increase is largely attributed to 2020 being a slow year for vehicle sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.