General Motors Co on Wednesday extended production cuts in North America due to a worldwide semiconductor chip shortage that has impacted the auto industry.
The U.S. automaker said its Wentzville, Missouri, assembly plant would be idled during the weeks as from March 29 and April 5. It will extend down time at its plant in Lansing, Michigan, which has been idled since March 15, by 2 weeks.
The move was factored into GM’s prior forecast that it could shave up to $2 billion off this year’s profit, spokesman David Barnas said. GM did not reveal how much volume would be lost by the action, but said it intended to make up as much lost production as possible later in the year.
The chip shortage came as North American auto plants were closed for 2 months during the coronavirus pandemic last year and chip orders were canceled, and as demand surged from the consumer electronics industry as people worked from home and played video games. That’s now left carmakers competing for chips.
Semiconductors are used extensively in cars, including to monitor engine performance, manage steering or automatic windows, and in sensors used in entertainment and parking systems.
Vehicles affected by the GM production cuts include the mid-sized pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in Missouri, and the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 and Chevy Camaro cars in Michigan.
Meanwhile, GM said its San Luis Potosi, Mexico, assembly plant, idled since Feb. 8, will resume production with 2 shifts starting from the week of April 5.
GM said last week it was building certain 2021 light-duty full-size pickups without a fuel management module, hurting their fuel economy performance by one mile per gallon.
Exacerbating the shortage is a recent fire at a Renesas Electronics chip plant in Japan. Barnas said GM was assessing the impact of the fire.