Some Detroit Three plants to restart as carmakers battle chip crunch

Breana Noble Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Production at some General Motors Co.,  Stellantis NV and Ford Motor Co. plants will resume next week as the Detroit Three automakers continue to cope with the global semiconductor shortage.

Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac CT4 and CT5 production will be back at GM's Lansing Grand River plant, the automaker said Thursday. Camaro production has been down since Sept. 13 and the Cadillac sedans since May 10. Production at GM's other Lansing plant, Delta Township Assembly, home of the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, will also resume next week, GM previously said. 

Stellantis plans to restart production of Ram heavy-duty trucks in Mexico and Jeep Grand Cherokees in Detroit, both of which are offline this week.

Ford Motor Co.'s Oakville plant in Ontario will restart production next week of the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus SUVs after taking this week off. 

The scarcity of microchips has left dealer lots emptier than normal, resulting in increased vehicle prices. Automakers have indicated sales took a hit due to the lack of inventory during the third quarter. The cost of the shortage is expected to total $210 billion in lost revenues this year, according to consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.

Even as they resume assembly at some plants, both automakers are implementing additional weeks of downtime at other North American plants.

GM's Ramos Assembly in Mexico will be down an additional two weeks for Chevrolet Blazer production through the week of Oct. 11, like its Chevrolet Equinox production. The plant hasn't built the Blazer since Aug. 23. Equinox production has been down since Aug. 16.

Other Equinox plants — CAMI in Ontario and San Luis Potosi in Mexico — will be down through the week of Oct. 11. Chevrolet Malibu production at the Fairfax, Kansas, plant is down through the week of Oct. 25.

Ford said next it will take Transit van production down at its Kansas City Assembly Plant. Flat Rock Assembly Mustang production will also be down next week. One shift will be down at the Kentucky Truck Plant, where super-duty trucks and the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator large SUVS are built. 

Stellantis said its plants that will be down next week are in Brampton, Ontario, where it makes Dodge muscle cars and the Chrysler 300 sedan, and in Belvidere, Illinois, home of the Jeep Cherokee crossover.

"Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry," spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said.

The transatlantic automaker's Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico had been down this week. Jefferson North Assembly Plant producing the Grand Cherokee was down for the previous two weeks. Stellantis officially debuted this week the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee, which will begin being produced before the end of the year at the adjacent Mack Assembly Plant.

The city of Belvidere has submitted a resolution to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, and the state's general assembly, imploring them to approve incentives that would help with expanding and preserving the automotive industry in the sate — particularly for electric vehicles.

Stellantis this summer cut the second shift at Belvidere Assembly Plant, which has idled for most of the year due to the chip shortage. The state of Illinois has notified the company it will lose approximately $9.5 million a year from a state program that provides annual corporate tax credits to businesses that support job creation and capital investment, according to the resolution.

"The City, Region and State cannot afford to be passive spectators, and be outhustled in securing future critical employment for our citizens," Belvidere Mayor Clinton Morris wrote in a letter to the governor with the resolution.

Stellantis declined to comment on the resolution.

In other effects from the chip shortage, GM's luxury brand Cadillac is making new 2022 Escalades without its Super Cruise autonomous technology. 

"Super Cruise is an important feature for Cadillac," Cadillac spokesman Michael Albano said in a statement. "Although it’s temporarily unavailable at the start of regular production of ’22 model year due to the industry-wide shortage of semiconductors, we’re confident in our team’s ability to find creative solutions to mitigate the supply chain situation and resume offering the feature for our customers as soon as possible."

GM and Stellantis are poised to report third-quarter sales on Friday. Ford Motor Co. will share September sales on Monday.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble