New chip shortage forces GM to close most manufacturing plants

GM has announced it is taking drastic measures in the face of renewed chip shortage. Due to the lack of availability for chips for various components inside GM vehicles, the automaker is idling most of its plants in North America for two weeks, starting on Monday. However, GM did say that its Arlington Assembly plant in Texas producing full-size SUVs will continue to run regular production next week.

Other manufacturing facilities that will continue operations include Flint Assembly, where heavy-duty pickups are produced, Bowling Green Assembly, where the Corvette is built, and parts of Lansing Grand River Assembly. That latter plant is where GM makes some of its Camaro and Cadillac Blackwing cars.

Other than those assembly plants, all others in North America will be idled. GM has also been clear that all of the announcements of closed facilities are directly related to the chip shortage. The only idled plant unrelated to the chip shortage is Orion Assembly, where Chevrolet builds the Bolt EV.

Orion Assembly is currently idled due to the massive battery recall covering all Bolt EVs. The chip shortage has impacted all automakers to some extent, with shortages due to pandemic-related lockdowns and shutdowns of manufacturing facilities worldwide. In addition, the chip shortage was compounded when sales of computers and other electronics for at-home workers boomed.

Some auto manufacturers, including Ford, have chosen to continue building vehicles rather than idling plants. However, those vehicles are missing critical components that require the microchips and are sitting in parking lots around the country, waiting for the components needed to complete them. Some GM staffers will continue working even with plants shut down. Staff will repair and ship unfinished vehicles from impacted plans to help meet the demand for GM products.