GM suspends production at Indiana plant due to chip shortage

Detroit (AP) — General Motors will close its pickup truck plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana for the next two weeks due to a shortage of computer chips.

The automotive industry has been facing supply chain problems for over a year since the first global chip shortage in late 2020.

According to GM, in the first three months of this year, chip supply has improved compared to 2021, and production and delivery have improved in the first quarter. However, there is still uncertainty about getting supply from chip makers.

The Fort Wayne factory will be closed during the week of April 4th and 11th. It runs three shifts a day to make a small pickup for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The factory employs more than 4,000 blue-collar workers.

“There is still uncertainty and unpredictability in our semiconductor supply infrastructure, and we are actively working with our suppliers to mitigate potential problems in the future,” GM said Friday. ..

The company said all of GM’s North American assembly plants have been operating at least one shift since November 1, last year. During the chip shortage, GM sent most of the semiconductors it got to pickup trucks and large SUV factories. These are the company’s most profitable vehicles.

Earlier this week, GM President Mark Royce said he was confident that he could overcome supply chain challenges such as the shortage of chips and rare earth metals brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We are not a new car maker. We have lots of volumes and lots of partnerships. We have over 20,000 suppliers and $ 88 billion of materials going through that chain to make cars, trucks and crossovers. “He said. “We are not new to this game. We work on it every day, and it never ends.”

The root of the computer chip shortage that plagues the automotive and other industries is the pandemic eruption in early 2020. US car makers had to close their factories to prevent the spread of the virus, and some parts companies canceled their semiconductor orders.

At the same time, tens of millions of people are rushing home, the demand for laptops, tablets and game consoles has skyrocketed, and the technology that relies heavily on computer chips has skyrocketed.

Also, the car factory was closed, but demand for cars remained surprisingly strong. When automakers began to open factories, they shifted production to other electronic products that chipmakers are buying in large quantities by people evacuating home, and there is a shortage of weatherable auto-grade chips. I noticed that.

Then, just as car chip production began to recover at the end of spring, highly contagious coronavirus delta variants struck Malaysia and other Asian countries, completing chips and making other auto parts. it was done.

Automakers and many analysts expect the chip shortage to ease later this year, but said they will not return to normal levels until 2023.