GM extends chip shutdown at some plants

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. on Wednesday said it has to extend production downtime at the plants it previously shut down in early February because of a continuing global semiconductor shortage.

The Detroit automaker is extending downtime through the end of March at its San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico where the Equinox, the Chevrolet Trax and the GMC Terrain SUVs are built; to at least mid-April at the Fairfax, Kansas, plant where the Cadillac XT4 and the Chevrolet Malibu are built; and in the CAMI plant in Ontario where the Chevrolet Equinox is built. GM previously scheduled thedowntime through at least mid-March. 

GM’s Gravatai plant in Brazil, where the Chevrolet Onix and Onix Plus are built, will take downtime in April and May.

General Motors employees work on the assembly line Friday, April 26, 2019 at Fairfax Assembly & Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The Fairfax facility produces the Cadillac XT4.

GM's intends to try and make up the lost production. The entire auto industry is battling a global shortage of semiconductors or chips. 

Ford Motor Co., for example, after having to reduce production at some of its F-150 plants previously, this week shut down its Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario where the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus are built because of the shortage.

Analysts at the IHS Markit research firm expect the semiconductor shortage to cost the industry nearly 1 million units of production in the first quarter. The issue is expected to hit bottom at the end of March, but the supply will remain tight into the third quarter, IHS says.

GM is focused on protecting its popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs. The automaker said it has not taken downtime or reduced shifts at any truck plants due to the shortage.

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @bykaleahall