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March 24, 2021 2:45 PM, EDT

GM to Halt Midsize Truck Production on Chip Woes

A General Motors Wentzville Assembly employee at workA General Motors Wentzville Assembly employee works on a midsize truck. (Melissa Vaeth for General Motors)

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DETROIT — General Motors Co. is halting production for two weeks at its Missouri midsize truck plant due to a global semiconductor supply constraint, the automaker said March 24.

GM has not paused production at its full-size truck or SUV plants, but Wentzville’s production of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will pause the weeks of March 29 and April 5.

GM also has to extend production downtime another two weeks through the week of April 12 at its Lansing Grand River plant, where the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac CT4 and CT5 are built. Production has been down there since March 15.

Automakers have been battling the semiconductor supply constraint since the start of the year. GM has said it will prioritize building its most popular products, such as trucks — even if that means holding some and adding in the parts later to quickly meet consumer demand.

Because of the chip shortage, GM is making its fuel-saving technology unavailable on certain 2021 model year full-size trucks.

The automaker intends to make up as much production lost with this supply issue as possible.

Two-shift production will resume April 5 at GM’s San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico, which builds the Chevrolet Equinox and Trax and GMC Terrain SUVs. The Mexico plant was shut down Feb. 8.

GM’s plants in Kansas, where the Cadillac XT4 SUV and Chevrolet Malibu are built, and in Ontario, where the Equinox is built, will be down until at least mid-April. They also were shut down Feb. 8.

A GM plant in Brazil also will have downtime in April and May. A plant in Korea has been operating at half capacity since February.

Ford Motor Co.’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, will be down this week. Medium-duty trucks, E-Series vans and Super Duty trucks are all built at that plant. Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant — which builds Super Duty trucks, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator — canceled a weekend overtime shift and will cut one out of three shifts this week.

Meanwhile, Stellantis NV is building and holding Ram 1500 Classics built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico.

A chip shortage isn’t the only supply chain battle for automakers right now. A severe winter storm caused a shortage of petrochemicals. The shortage caused Toyota Motor Co. to see some disruption in its production.

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