This year, automotive headlines have been dominated by the ongoing global microchip shortage. Now, according to General Motors president Mark Reuss, the global microchip supply is expected to begin to stabilize, albeit at a level lower than desired.
“We’re going to see a stabilization to some extent before we see getting the volume we really need,” Reuss said at a recent conference in northern Michigan, per a report from Reuters.
Earlier this month, General Motors Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said that the global microchip supply will begin to even out next year as suppliers strive to catch up with demand.
General Motors has been forced to curtail production at a variety of facilities throughout the year, pushing back production restart dates as the global microchip shortage drags on. The latest estimates are put lost production figures at nearly 800,000 units throughout 2021. Nearly all of the automaker’s production facilities have felt the impact of the microchip shortage. One of the hardest hit has been the GM Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas, which has been offline since February. The Fairfax assembly facility is responsible for production of the Cadillac XT4 crossover and Chevy Malibu sedan.
In response to the shortage, General Motors has employed a variety of strategies to lessen the impact, including prioritization of its most popular models, namely its full-size SUVs and trucks. General Motors has also opted to produce vehicles in an unfinished state, parking the incomplete units until additional microchips are sourced. Additionally, GM has cut certain features from select models, including AFM and DFM from the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.
What’s more, General Motors has revealed a plan to overhaul its supply chain, opting to forge stronger relationships with chip producers in order to circumvent a possible future shortage.
Beyond global microchip supply, Reuss also addressed all-electric vehicle material recycling, including rare earth minerals.
“There’s a lot of material in a battery cell that can be reused,” Reuss said. “We’re spending time on that.”
Back in July, General Motors settled a deal with Controlled Thermal Resources to ramp up lithium mining at the Salton Sea in California.