General Motors has shipped about half of the stockpiled pickup truck inventory that it had stored amid the global semiconductor chip shortage and is expected to clear the remaining trucks before the end of the year.
Speaking at the recent Reuters Events Automotive Summit, General Motors North America vice president, Steve Carlisle, said the automaker has “made great progress,” with regard to shipping out its partially completed, stockpiled pickups.
“We’re a bit better than halfway through that at the moment and our goal would be to clear out our ’21 model years by the end of the year,” Carlisle said during the virtual, online-only conference, as quoted by Reuters. “We’ll have a bit of a tail of ’22 model years into the new year but not for too long.”
GM began storing partially completed trucks near its various assembly plants earlier this year as part of its “build shy” strategy, which allows it to keep its plants up and running even if it doesn’t have all the chips it needs to complete them immediately. This allows the automaker to then pull these incomplete trucks back into the plant, install the remaining absent chips and ship them out to dealers.
Carlisle also revealed this week that GM had purchased its own car haulers to deliver trucks to dealers in a more efficient manner amid the chip shortage and, in some cases, is also allowing dealers to pick trucks up themselves in certain parts of the country.
GM had under 30 days’ supply of the GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500 at the end of August 2021 as a result of high demand and low production output. This was an improvement from earlier in the year, however, when the COVID-19 pandemic and microchip shortage tanked GM’s light-duty pickup supply levels to less than 20 days.
Many automakers, including Ford, VW and Daimler, have expressed concern the global semiconductor chip shortage could last longer than expected. Speaking to CNBC, Ford Europe chairman Gunnar Herrman said the chip shortage could extend into 2024 due to sustained high demand and a shift to electric vehicles. The publication points out that a regular Ford Focus uses around 300 chips, whereas a battery-electric Focus uses in excess of 3,000.