It feels like we’ve spent much of 2021 reporting on factory closures and parts shortages. No rest for the wicked, though, as it appears that trend is going to continue for the foreseeable future. Today, General Motors announced that it is reducing production capacity at its facilities across North America. The semiconductor chip shortage is still a major problem, leading the automaker to cut or extend cuts at eight of its plants.
While downtime at the is facilities are expected to last two weeks, production of the Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 should only be down for a week. General Motors’ midsize pickups, which include the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado will take a hit from the longer shutdowns, as will the Chevy Trailblazer, which is built in Mexico.
This round of shutdowns is far from the first for General Motors this year and is one of several across the auto industry. Downtime at GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant was extended in the middle of last month, from what was originally planned as a two-week pause to a month-long shutdown.
Unsurprisingly, interruptions in vehicle production means fewer vehicles leaving the factory. Last month, GM lowered its production forecast by 100,000 vehicle for the second half of 2021, which again is a trend we’re seeing across the industry. Analysts expect the chip shortage to stretch on deep into 2022, but the price tag for shortages just this year will reach $110 billion, according to industry analysts.
If it sounds like the shortage is costing automakers money, that’s because it is. However, if there’s any upside to automakers’ bumpy ride, it’s that reduced vehicle supply means that vehicle prices are higher, leading to higher profit. Of course, none of that is good news for buyers.