It hasn't been an easy year for any automaker, and those that depend on certain vehicle types more than others for significant income are feeling the pinch particularly hard. Detroit's automakers are the perfect example as they struggle to maintain truck and SUV output. GM, for example, idled its Camaro and Malibu assembly lines in order to shift those desperately needed semiconductor chips to trucks and SUVs. Stellantis isn't as lucky, at least for this coming week.
The automaker has confirmed its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, home of the Ram 1500, and the Jefferson North Assembly Plant charged with producing the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, will both be idled this week.
The former was previously scheduled to be shut down the week of July 19 for general maintenance and this won't change. Production of the Ram 1500 Classic at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant stopped earlier this year and there's no confirmation yet when it'll be back up running. This lack of truck and SUV production isn't expected to drastically hurt the automaker in the long run, but some dealers could experience some delivery constraints in the short term.
Along with these facilities, the Belvidere, Illinois plant that builds the smaller Cherokee, Toluca Assembly in Mexico where the Compass is made, will be down this week, too.
Two additional plants in Ontario, Canada are also going offline for the next several days: Windsor, home of the Pacifica minivan, and Brampton which handles Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Challenger production. The Illinois plant and one of the Ontario facilities were also previously scheduled for summer shutdown maintenance rather than a chip shortage. It remains unknown whether those Detroit-area truck and SUV plants will experience additional shutdowns but such a situation shouldn't be ruled out.
Both GM and Ford have closed and then re-opened their assembly lines for months now (other automakers have been forced to do the same) and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Analysts predict the chip shortage won't end until sometime next year, at the earliest.