GM able to 'mitigate' some chip shortage production impact

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. said Tuesday it will restart production at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant a week early and it will not have to cancel Chevrolet Blazer production at a Mexico plant because of the global chip shortage. 

The Detroit automaker said last week it would have to halt production at the Spring Hill plant, where the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5 and XT6 are built, for two weeks starting April 12, but production will now resume there April 19. Production of the Blazer at the Ramos Assembly Mexico plant will not cease the week of April 19 as previously expected.

General Motors Co. said Wednesday that it will invest $788.7 million at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, manufacturing complex for a new engine program, creating 792 new jobs and retaining 16.

“Following our announcement last Thursday, April 8, GM’s supply chain organization has made strides working with our supply base to mitigate the near-term impacts of the semiconductor situation on both Spring Hill Assembly and Ramos Assembly," GM spokesman David Barnas said in a statement to The Detroit News. 

GM and other automakers have been battling a global chip shortage since the start of the year, pushing the Biden administration on Monday to meet with auto and tech company executives about the need for a greater chip supply. 

Automakers have been trying to protect their valuable full-size truck and SUV plants, but some production, included Ford Motor Co.'s F-150, had to be slashed. GM had to cancel overtime shifts at its truck plants in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Flint last weekend because of the shortage. 

On Tuesday, though, the plant executive director at GM's Fort Wayne assembly facility where light-duty trucks are built sent out a request for employees to sign up for a voluntary overtime shift this Sunday, April 18, according to a copy of the communication obtained by The News. 

"At this time, it appears that our supply chain can accommodate the production," Fort Wayne Plant Executive Director Gary Duff wrote in the note. "This voluntary shift will enable us to begin recovering units lost due to canceled shifts last weekend."

Twitter: @bykaleahall