GM Prioritizing Pickup Production Over Crossovers, Sedans

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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gm prioritizing pickup production over crossovers sedans

General Motors will resume full-size pickup assembly next week, leaving its crossovers will have to continue enduring production hang-ups related to the semiconductor shortage. American manufacturers have been absolutely creamed by supply shortages this year and a lack of chips really hurt pickup volumes. We’ve seen a lot of creative solutions, including automakers putting unfinished vehicles on the lot in hopes that they can install the missing hardware later.

But GM’s latest solution involves prioritizing Michigan’s Flint Assembly, Indiana’s Fort Wayne Assembly, Silao Assembly in Mexico — all of which were previously idled or operating on reduced schedules. Unfortunately, that means giving other North American facilities more downtime and, sadly, plenty of it.

According to Automotive News, this includes Kansas City’s Fairfax Assembly — which has been idled since February — and five other factories located in North America. The facility was supposed to return to normal at the start of this month, which was later revised for the end of August. However, the newest plan leaves Cadillac XT4 production offline until September 20th, with Chevrolet Malibu assembly now being a giant question mark.

Lansing Grand River Assembly, responsible for the Cadillac CT4 and CT5, has been down since May and just got a two-week extension on its current production leave. Assembly isn’t likely to resume until the very end of August.

San Luis Potosi Assembly has enjoyed more production time than most North American facilities this year. But it’s getting another three weeks of downtime before resuming production of the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. Those models will be back on the assembly line on August 23rd.

That just leaves GM’s Lansing Delta Township, Spring Hill, and Ramos Arizpe facilities — all of which will be getting just one more week off. But we’ve learned not to assume anything in 2021, especially since this is just one of dozens of scheduling changes that had to be revised by automakers. If chip supplies don’t stabilize, we anticipate the manufacturer prioritizing Lansing — so it can get more Chevrolet Traverses and Buick Enclaves on the lot Ramos Arizpe — which builds the Chevy Blazer and Equinox — also has a good chance of getting preferential treatment. Though the whole gang is supposed to be fully operational by August 2nd.

General Motors is just one automaker contending with this industrywide disaster, however. This week saw Mercedes-Benz and BMW also cutting production, citing supply chain problems. Meanwhile, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida was expressing his pensiveness about the ongoing semiconductor shortage to the media despite his company turning a profit for the first time in a while.

“Knowing the current situation … we cannot be optimistic,” Uchida told CNBC on Wednesday. “I think this is day-by-day still.”

[Image: General Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 01, 2021

    Understandably GM is prioritizing truck production but eventually trucks will not be as popular and the cash cow will dry up. There will be a limit to how much people will pay for a truck and how long a loan period can be extended but for now GM, Ford, and Stelantis might as well make as many trucks as they can sell. Also fuel prices will go up and for those who do a lot of driving this will eventually affect the purchase of large trucks and suvs.

  • Buickman Buickman on Aug 01, 2021

    this is manufactured crisis meant to create such a shortage customers will accept electrics.

  • Tassos Unlike Tim, I don't use this space as a wastebasket for ANYTHING BUT a proper used car.If you seriously need a car AND you are as destitute as Tim's finds imply, HERE IS A PROPER ONE FOR YOUR NEEDS:You can probably get it for only $4k, WITH Leather, Factory Navigation, plenty of room and a V6. even considered getting it myself as an extra reliable car.
  • Jeff Of all the EV trucks I like the Rivian the best but I am still years away if ever from buying an EV.
  • Kwik_Shift I definitely like the looks of the newest 300s over the Chargers.
  • SCE to AUX "Should car companies shack up with tech giants in order to produce legible infotainment systems and the like? Or should they go it alone?"Great question(s).The River Rouge days are gone, where Ford produced whole cars out of raw materials entering the plant at the other end. Nearly everything is outsourced these days - sometimes well, sometimes disastrously.But the problem with infotainment systems is that they are integrated with the car's operation. VW has delayed entire products for issues with infotainment.For me, the question boils down to a contractual arrangement - who owns and maintains the code forever? Since more and more of the car's function is tied to the infotainment system, I'd argue that the car mfr needs to own it - especially the larger ones.Do mfrs really want to share intellectual property with Huawei just to fast-track some code they've managed themselves in the past?
  • Kwi65728132 I always did like the styling of the 300C and it was on my short list for a new (to me) rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated V8 luxury sedan but I found a Hyundai Equus that was better optioned than any 300C I could find and for several grand less.