Automotive

GM To Temporarily Close Pickup Plant Due To Chip Shortage


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Photo: Joshua Lott (Getty Images)

The chip shortage continues. As Ford ships models without computer chips to dealerships, General Motors has decided to take a different option to deal with the lack of chips. GM has chosen to temporarily shutter one of its production facilities to reduce the number of vehicles it’s building without chips. General Motors is also lobbying Congress to take action to end the computer chip shortage.

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General Motors has chosen to stop production at its Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in Roanoke, Indiana for two weeks in early April. The Fort Wayne plant has over 4,400 employees and currently builds the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. The facility initially opened in 1986 and now operates on wind power and landfill-sourced gas. Like with other major US automakers, thousands of pick-up trucks manufactured at the factory have been parked without chips in a few areas around Fort Wayne.

GM has noted that semiconductor chip supplies have become more consistent, and vehicles deliveries have increased as a result. Though, the rows on rows of parked chip-less vehicles send a blunt message that there’s still a significant supply issue. GM stated, “There is still uncertainty and unpredictability in the semiconductor supply base, and we are actively working with our suppliers to mitigate potential issues moving forward.”

The only way to decisively end the chip shortage is to increase semiconductor chip manufacturing capacity dramatically. During this year’s State of the Union address, President Joe Biden implored Congress to pass the CHIPS for America Act. The bill would provide $52 billion in government subsidies to chip manufacturers to ramp up production domestically. The bill also aims to reduce the country’s reliance on chips produced overseas. General Motors has been supportive of the bill, with CEO Mary Barra visiting Washington this week.

If the bill is passed, it would still be months or even years before the chips built in new plants funded by the law reach a car.

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