Not a single Camaro has been built since mid-March.
While dealerships report record profits due to high demand, automakers are continuing to struggle with semiconductor chip shortage, a critical component for vehicle systems like navigation and Bluetooth. The shortage is highly unlikely to end this year. This has resulted in production downtime at numerous manufacturing facilities across the country as automakers attempt to conserve chip supplies for more profitable models.
Less profitable models, like the Chevrolet Camaro, are typically the first to see their assembly lines grind to a halt. Not a single Camaro has been built since March 15. But today there's some good news.
General Motors will restart production on May 3, according to Automotive News, at its Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Michigan, home not only to the Camaro but also the new Cadillac CT4 and CT5. The report adds some areas of the plant will run on partial shifts only this week in order to help prep for general assembly next week.
The report didn't state whether the Chevy Malibu, also built at Lansing Grand River, will restart production on the same date. The Malibu is also built at a plant in Kansas City, which had been idled as well for a period of time.
Above all else, GM wants to make sure it retains a steady production output of highly profitable trucks and SUVs. Chips normally used for slow sellers like the Camaro are being diverted elsewhere. It's impossible to know whether the Camaro's production restart is a temporary deal, but it really boils down to consumer demand.
The Camaro, as we've previously reported, is not in high demand these days. It's the slowest-selling of Detroit's three muscle cars. The Ford Mustang has long retained the top spot, followed by the Dodge Challenger. In fact, even Mustang production will be temporarily stopped for two weeks next month. Challenger production in Ontario was halted in late March and was due to begin again earlier this month.