For those readers just rejoining society after living in a cave for the last year, headlines throughout 2021 have been dominated by the ongoing global microchip shortage. The latter has led to widespread production stoppages throughout the auto industry, including for General Motors. Now, SAIC-GM-Wuling has announced that it is developing its own microchips.
According to a report from Reuters, SAIC-GM-Wuling recently announced that has been developing its own microchips for use in automobiles since 2018. SAIC-GM-Wuling is the joint venture between General Motors, SAIC Motor Corp, and Guangxi Automobile Group. The group made the announcement during a recent industry conference, and did not specify if it was only designing the chips, or manufacturing them as well. However, SAIC-GM-Wuling did say it would seek to increase the use of locally sourced chips in the next five years, boosting cooperation with Chinese manufacturers in order to improve the quality and economy of its chip usage.
So far, the microchip shortage has resulted in an estimated production loss of 800,000 vehicles for General Motors. It’s believed that the GM Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas has been the hit the hardest with regard to production losses. The Fairfax facility produces the Cadillac XT4 crossover and Chevy Malibu sedan, and has been offline since February. That said, nearly all of GM’s production facilities have felt the impact of the global microchip shortage to some degree thus far.
In response to the shortage, General Motors has implemented a number of different strategies, including prioritization of its most popular models, namely its full-size SUVs and pickup trucks. General Motors also deleted certain features, such as Active Fuel Management and Dynamic Fuel Management from select GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado models.
What’s more, General Motors has implemented what is known as a “build-shy” strategy wherein certain models are produced in an incomplete state and stored as additional microchips are sourced, only to be completed once additional chips are secured.