Steel Markets

GM Firing Up Some Long-Idled Plants; Chip Shortage Easing?

Written by Michael Cowden

General Motors (GM) is restarting production at assembly plants that had been idled – some since early February – because of the global semiconductor shortage.

The restarts include not only plants in North America but also facilities in South Korea, a spokesman for the Detroit-based automaker said.

GMU.S. steelmakers have said that auto companies would ramp up production in the second half of the year as the chip shortage eases. The GM spokesman did not confirm explicity confirm that.

“Our supply chain organization continues to make strides working with our supply base to mitigate the near-term impacts of the semiconductor situation. However, it continues to remain fluid globally,” he said.

And he noted that certain plants would remain idle into the third quarter.

Here is where things stand as of Thursday, May 27, per the GM spokesman:

• Lansing Grand River (Mich.) will restart production of the Chevrolet Camaro earlier than expected on June 21. The plant has been down since May 10. Cadillac CT4 and CT5 production will remain down through the week of June 28 as previously announced. The plant will continue to support limited 2022 model year Cadillac Black Wing production in early June.

• CAMI Assembly (Canada), which makes the Chevrolet Equinox SUV, will resume production earlier than expected on June 14 and run through July 2 – or up until its scheduled two-week summer shutdown period. The plant has been on downtime since Feb. 8.

• San Luis Potosi Assembly (Mexico), which makes the Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs, will resume production on May 31. The plant has been down the weeks of May 17 and May 24.

• Ramos Assembly (Mexico), which makes the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox SUVs, will resume production on May 31. The plant has been down since May 3.

• Bupyeong 1 Assembly (South Korea) will resume full production beginning May 31. The plant produces the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Encore GX SUVs. It had been operating at 50% capacity since April 26. And GM’s Changwon Assembly Plant will also return to two shifts.

But not all plants are restarting. Fairfax Assembly in Kansas City, Kan., for example, will remain idled through at least the week of July 5. It has been down since Feb. 8, the company spokesman said. Fairfax builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4 cars.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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