By on May 22, 2020

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLT

While General Motors earned the right to resume production in Mexico on Thursday, parts procurement in the gradually reopening North American economy remains a serious roadblock.

U.S. plants came online May 18th following two months of pandemic-prompted downtime. Of topmost importance to all members of the Detroit Three are their hot-selling pickup lines, though UAW- and state-approved health protocol calls for a slow ramp-up, with all plants operating on reduced shifts. Parts supply will dictate those ramp-ups; in GM’s case, boosted pickup production in the Midwest will have to wait.

After reporting on GM’s Mexican restart Friday, Reuters cited a source claiming two key plants in the U.S. will have to leave a second shift on the back burner. Those sites are GM’s Fort Wayne, Indiana and Flint, Michigan truck plants, responsible for Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra, and their HD counterparts.

Like at the company’s Silao, Mexico truck plant, parts supply for the full-size pickups remains limited for the moment. It was hoped that a second shift could be added at the U.S. facilities on Monday, the source claimed. Instead, the extra cohort likely won’t arrive to bolster output until late in the week.

One GM facility cranking out large products will reportedly see a second shift added on Monday, however — that being Michigan’s Lansing Delta Township facility, home to the Chevrolet Traverse (Chevy’s third best-selling model) and Buick’s range-topping Enclave.

Getting big-margin, big-volume pickups back in production has been a desire since the earliest days of the lockdown. Even during the darkest days of late March and early April, most most dealers shuttered in some way or another, weekly sales of this segment never fell more than 25 percent below pre-virus forecasts, according to data from J.D. Power. It’s no wonder Ford made a big show of its restarted F-150 plant in Dearborn this week.

There’s no clearer sign of a reopened U.S. economy than big pickups rolling off the line.

Still, the buoyant popularity of full-size trucks, even in the midst of a health crisis (Ford sales and marketing boss Mark LaNeve said Detroit Three full-size pickups made up 21 percent of industry-wide light duty vehicle volume in April), caused inventory problems for the companies that depend on them. Production is only just now trying to meet up with demand.

Mentioning that “strong” demand, GM spokesman Dan Flores told Reuters “we are certainly exploring ways to add production and will do that when it makes sense.”

[Images: General Motors]

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20 Comments on “Report: U.S. Ramp-up of GM Pickups Paused As Parts Prove Precious...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    That new Chevy HD

    is by far

    the UGLIEST TRUCK MADE.
    hard stop. WHOA.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You’re not going far enough…I think it’s the ugliest thing on four wheels that you can buy new in the United States of America.

    • 0 avatar
      snorlax

      The BMW X7 says hi.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Freedmike

        I stand corrected.
        Thank you.

        I worked at GM for 10 years. The guy that designed it got promoted.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          (Laughs)

          Sounds about right. GM can make good looking stuff. I don’t even mind the more basic Silverados – I’m no truck fan, but the design on them hangs together nicely, particularly in person.

          But these HD trucks are…just obscene.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Leave it to GM to top the Aztec.

            The HD GM’s are better looking than the Chevrolet HD’s but I like the Chevy 1500 looks better than the GMC snout.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            There’s a Chevy dealer down the street from me that I pass by all the time, and they have one of these propped up on stilts in front of the lot. It’s just hideous, and appears to have been styled specifically to just show a scary face to onlookers.

            It’s so bad that I’d actually think about questioning the life choices of anyone who bought one as anything but a work truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            I guess we should be thankful they didn’t bother to put these trucks in a wind tunnel. There must be an economic and/or ease of manufacturing reason for the blunt wall of grille.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      That double-up grille makes me dizzy. They’re worse in real life

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      New Silverados are selling like Hot Cakes. Proving once again TTAC is an anti-American Troll sight.

      Why don’t you guys go drive crappy little used cars back to Asia.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I like F-150s :)

        Put THAT in your anti-American pipe and smoke it

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Yikes, but HD buyers aren’t as concerned with pretty. It looks fine from the back in sides though, sorta like a girl with the smokin’ hot body and face looks like a gent.

          It’d be great to have it all but… I wouldn’t mind it so much with a “chrome delete”, on a black or very dark paint truck. It can be done at home, but I’m sure the dealer wouldn’t mind swapping out the chrome parts with a base truck on the lot.

          The deal breaker for me would be the Hecho en Mexico alone, never mind the chinesium everywhere and sorry IsuzuMax diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            DenverMike

            The Chinese buy American and cook their fish.
            The Japanese car companies will go broke. Just like the Japanese electronics companies.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “New Silverados are selling like Hot Cakes”

        IHOP disagrees.

        Kinda hard to take that rant seriously when you ain’t spellun wurds rite.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ Peter Gazis. VW & Toyota take turns being the number one car company in the world, not just North America but the world. Toyota & Honda dominate the family Sedan market in North America. They’re doing pretty good in the CUV/SUVs markets too. GM is incapable of manufacturing a competitive small car. Where is the Pontiac/Cadillac equivalent of my Lexus IS? Nowhere, GM won’t make anything that good. When, those “crappy little used cars” get driven back to Asia, they’ll have 250,000 to 300,000 miles on them. The Japanese and Koreans were proactive to the NA market, GM was reactive and catching up.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I also thought the new GM trucks looked pretty bad.

    But now, the more I see them on the road, the less offensive the they look. No worse than an F-150 now.

    Perhaps with time, I may even like the Chevy looks. It’s happened before.

    When the original, classy-looking US spec car was replaced by the aero version (with the industry’s first flush side windows), I was aghast! Why were the improvements wrapped in that ugly exterion?

    In time, the more new 5000s I saw on the road, I came to like it as much as the original.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    First picture: Now with four dedicated marker lights to highlight the squared-off wheelwells [2020 Sierra HD].

    The sheet metal arch over the front wheel is gone for 2020 (compare 2019 Sierra HD), but the bed side now has a vestigal stamped-steel echo of the squared-off wheelwell as a last middle finger to anyone who dares to question ‘GM Design’ (aka Styling). [Compare also the 2020 Silverado HD treatment vs. this 2020 Sierra HD.]

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      In the old days, they’d add or rearrange the chrome or stamped aluminum trim from year to year. Now they’re making chnges in the sheet metal. That sheet metal is getting pretty thin, enough so to make me wonder if they use flimsier stamping equipment that needs to be changed more often, allowing subtle year-to-year changes.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    GM ran out of Chinese parts. They are waiting for that slow boat from China. As for looks that is subjective, but I hate to think of what the 2021 Colorado will look like.

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