Photos have emerged that show how GM is storing unfinished Silverado HD and Sierra HD pickups in muddy fields and allegedly moving them with a bulldozer and a skid loader.
We all know the global chip shortage has thrown a huge wrench into the production of automobiles. Automakers, who use legacy chipsets that are older but more durable than the state of the art chips we see in modern cell phones, have had lots of trouble getting enough of the electronics to sell the volume of vehicles that consumers have demanded.
To help keep production going and prepare for the day when chips become more available, GM has kept producing cars and trucks and then stashing the mostly built vehicles in storage. Usually, they are only awaiting a small controller, key chip, or some other very minor piece- compared to the assembly of the entire vehicle. As those minor modules or parts become available, GM plugs the missing parts in and drives the trucks out of storage, and transports them to dealers.
And that may not be a big deal if those trucks were sitting in a paved parking lot. However, apparently “storage” for partially built 2021 Silverado HD and 2021 Sierra HD trucks is a field. And not any field at that. Apparently, a muddy overgrown and unmowed field.
Photos of hundreds of HD trucks parked outside Flint, Michigan showed up on Facebook weeks ago. Some commenters joked about field mice and what the storage on a dirt surface would do to the vehicles. Other people seriously brought up potential issues like frame rust and damage that would potentially sully the looks of what should be “brand new” and “untouched” vehicles.
A truck sitting in a field for a few weeks isn’t really the end of the world. It’s not like they’ve spent the better part of a year there, right? Not so fast.
GM-Trucks.com talked to several dealers still awaiting 2021 HD deliveries and found that some of those trucks have been sitting for many months. One dealer reported back that two particular HD pickups they ordered were built in February and March of 2021 and have sat in the field since- awaiting parts. As of today, that’s around 8 months.
If you think it couldn’t get any worse than that, think again. New photos surfaced yesterday showing the same field, now a muddy mess and trucks caked with mud after being pulled out of the field for transport.
The poster of the images, who has since deleted the photos, claims GM is using a skid loader with a fork attachment and a bulldozer to get trucks out of the mud. While no photos of the forklift or bulldozer were provided, GM-Trucks.com has confirmed from a GM dealer that they’ve been instructed to inspect all inbound HD’s for forklift damage and have noted increased frame rust on trucks stored in the field.
While it’s true that getting mud on a brand new truck isn’t the worst thing in the world and will most likely not cause any substantial damage, it does raise some questions from those who have always assumed their new vehicles are “untouched” and free from any wear and tear before they are driven off the lot.
It’s also not a great look that GM has prior model year trucks, some with sticker prices north of $70,000, sitting in a muddy field to be later sold as “brand new”.
GM-Trucks.com has reached out to General Motors and received the following comment about this article from Kyle Suba at Chevrolet:
“As we manage the semiconductor crisis, we have parked some vehicles off site. Once we have the necessary parts, the vehicles are thoroughly cleaned, moved back to the plant for completion and undergo stringent safety and quality verification to ensure they are ready to be shipped to dealers.
As always, our goal is to provide an outstanding product to our customers.”