GM truck production back next week; Bolt production remains down amid recall

Kalea Hall Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Detroit — All of General Motors Co.'s full-size truck plants will be back in production next week after taking a week of downtime for the chip shortage, but its Chevrolet Bolt plant will remain down another two weeks as the automaker works through a safety recall on the vehicle. 

Meanwhile, Stellantis NV is extending downtime for the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler minivans for another two weeks because of semiconductor shortage. Its plants in Belvidere, Illinois, and Windsor, Ontario, will idle the weeks of Sept. 13 and Sept. 20.

The shortage of microchips used in consumer electronics has idled auto plants across the world and is keeping dealership lots in short supply, causing vehicle prices to go up. With COVID-19 cases increasing in Malaysia and other pandemic-induced factors, experts are predicting the scarcity could last longer than expected, even well into next year or later.

Automakers are prioritizing their most profitable trucks and SUVs to protect their bottom lines. GM confirmed Thursday its Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Silao, Mexico, plants where the light-duty GMC Sierras and Chevrolet Silverados are made will be back to full production Monday after taking this week off. 

"Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, GM hasn’t taken any full-size SUV production downtime due to the global shortage of semiconductors and has taken minimal downtime at its full-size pickup truck plants," GM spokesman David Barnas said in a statement.

The production hits are a result of "continued parts shortages caused by semiconductor supply constraints from international markets experiencing COVID-related restrictions," Barnas added. "We remain confident in our team’s ability to continue finding creative solutions to minimize the impact on our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles.”

Meanwhile, Orion Assembly in Lake Orion will be down through the week of Sept. 20 after already taking the last two weeks off due to a battery pack shortage because all Bolt EVs and EUVs have been recalled for potential battery fire risk.  

Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee has been down since July 19 for the chip shortage and will resume production Sept. 20. Spring Hill builds the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 and XT6.

The plant will still take its previously scheduled extended downtime beginning the week of Sept. 27 through the week of Nov. 22 for new model tooling installation.

Lansing Delta Township Assembly has also been down since July 19 and will have an additional week of downtime the week of Sept. 20.  Production of the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave is expected to resume there the week of Sept. 27.

Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, home of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, will also take an additional week of downtime with production expected to resume production the week of Sept. 27. Production there has been down since Sept. 6.

Ramos Assembly in Mexico will halt Chevrolet Blazer production through the week of Sept. 20. Blazer production has been down since Aug. 23. Production of the Chevrolet Equinox at Ramos will be down through the week of Sept. 27. Equinox production has been off since Aug. 16.

Lansing Grand River Assembly will now stop production of the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac Black Wing the weeks of Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. Cadillac CT4 and CT5 production at the plant is slated to be down through the week of Sept. 27 after being halted since May 10.

GM does still expect to bring production of the Cadillac XT4 back at Fairfax Assembly beginning Sept. 20. Chevrolet Malibu production will remain down. Fairfax has been down since Feb. 8. 

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday also confirmed more downtime next week for the F-150 truck and Transit van lines at Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri.

Stellantis, meanwhile, is hiring at its Metro Detroit facilities producing Ram pickups and Jeep SUVs. It held a job fair this week in Detroit to hire production operators.

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

Twitter: @bykaleahall

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble