GM Gets the Go-ahead for a Mexican Restart, but Production Hinges on Suppliers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm gets the go ahead for a mexican restart but production hinges on suppliers

General Motors received good news on Thursday, earning approval from the Mexican government to fire up its extensive manufacturing presence in that country after weeks of coronavirus downtime.

The green light to resume production will help the automaker restock its all-important pickup shelves, though assembly won’t turn on a dime.

As reported by Reuters, production could begin as early as Friday at the Silao and Ramos Arizpe plants, home to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Blazer, and Equinox, as well as associated powertrain facilities. Last week it was reported that GM had its eye on the current week for a restart, even though Mexico had shuttered manufacturing operations through the end of the month.

To reopen, first a manufacturer must earn the privilege — and it seems GM de México’s virus-fighting health protocol satisfied government officials. “After nearly two months of suspension of activities, we are reopening our manufacturing complexes while implementing the most strict protocols of health and security,” Francisco Garza, CEO of GM’s Mexican arm, said in a statement.

The news comes as U.S. parts supplier Lear also earned a clean bill of health, allowing it to reopen a Mexican facility that counts Ford among its customers.

While GM said production could commence as early as today, vehicles won’t start moving down the assembly line until there’s parts with which to build them. In some cases, that could take a while. The automaker said a reopening date for its Toluca and San Luis Potosi plants remains hazy on account of this. Those facilities host powertrain production, as well as assembly of the GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox, and Chevy Trax.

Getting the Silverado plant up and running ASAP is of top importance to GM, given the demand for the model and its sizable margins. In past weeks, dealers in the U.S. have begun complaining of dwindling pickup inventory — a shortage of a key product whose popularity kept the Detroit Three from feeling the worst effects of the pandemic during the extended lockdown.

At last report, full-size pickup demand in the U.S. was down only 7 percent compared to pre-virus forecasts.

[Image: Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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  • Redapple Redapple on May 22, 2020

    Only down 7%. Wow- Im shocked. Lots of tradesmen buy these. High layoff rate. Wealthy older folks. got the cash,but dont HAVE TO have a new vehicle. 7% is a huge win.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 23, 2020

    The bigger suppliers of things like brake assemblies should be up and running soon. It's the suppliers of little things like clips and brackets who will take longer to get back in business, if they survive at all. They're small companies least able to take the financial hit of the extended shutdown.

  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.