The semiconductor chip shortage is hitting hard.
When things go bad in the auto industry, they tend to go bad in a big way. The ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips is evidence of that, affecting every automaker from Ford to BMW, the latter of which thought it would be immune to the shortage but is now experiencing the opposite. The shortage has caused delays and sometimes total shutdowns, and now Stellantis is feeling the hurt too. According to a report from Automotive News, production of the Ram 1500 and Chrysler Pacifica has now been halted in both the US and Canada, and it's not the first time either.
In a statement made yesterday, the conglomerate says, "Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry."
The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan that produces the 1500 was temporarily closed in July, and now the plant will close again, but only for a week. In Illinois, the Belvidere plant where the Jeep Cherokee is produced, as well as Ontario's Windsor plant that produces the Pacifica and Voyager, will close for the next two weeks starting from yesterday, August 30. Also in Ontario is the Brampton plant that handles Dodge's Charger and Challenger, along with the Chrysler 300.
These plants have been closed on prior occasions, but the whole situation seems to be up in the air, as "scheduling is still released on a week-to-week basis." This disaster has been "very frustrating," says Canada's largest private-sector union, Unifor, and according to the most recent estimate from AutoForecast Solutions, 2.1 million units of production have been lost by automakers in North America alone just from last week. The company also says that almost seven million vehicles have been cut from global production plans and expects that this number will reach 8.1 million before the end of this shortage, whenever that may be. On the plus side, less production means less environmental impact, so perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.