No more delays (hopefully).
Following a two-week shutdown, General Motors has confirmed it will restart full production of its full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks this coming Monday, August 2. The Flint Assembly plant had been on a one-shift-only policy for most of this month. Two other production facilities that build these vehicles, Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana and Silao Assembly in Mexico, will also return to full operations on Monday after being shut down entirely in the second half of July. However, full truck production isn't coming without a sacrifice made elsewhere.
The Detroit Free Press was told by the automaker that the three plants charged with building midsize SUVs like the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave will see their current downtime extended by an additional week, starting Monday.
Truck production, at least for now, takes priority above all else. "Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, our global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to minimize the impact to our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles," a GM spokesperson said.
Automakers have been faced with a crisis unlike ever before due to a lack of semiconductor chips. These essential chips are only about the size of a thumbnail and yet they control vital vehicle systems. New vehicles typically cannot be completed and shipped to dealers without them but clever workarounds have been implemented.
Stopping production, even for a limited time, is the last resort. In addition to those popular trucks, additional GM plants will be back up and running throughout August. The Cadillac CT4 and CT5, built at Lansing Grand River Assembly, will resume production on August 30; neither vehicle has been built since last May. In late September, the Cadillac XT4 assembly line will be turned back on at the Fairfax Assembly though the Chevy Malibu, which is also built there, will not resume production yet. The Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain production in Mexico won't begin again until August 16 after a month of downtime.
Whether GM can maintain its new schedule remains unknown. It all boils down to chip supplies and how they're allocated.