Steel Markets

Stellantis Extends Chip-Related Downtime, GM Full Speed Ahead (for Full Size)

Written by Michael Cowden

It’s far too early to say that the automotive sector – and the steelmakers who supply it – are out of the woods when it comes to the global chip shortage.

But for the first time in weeks, General Motors and several other automakers with North American operations have announced no additional downtime or have confirmed that all their plants are running.

autoDetroit-based GM, the largest of the “Big Three” automakers in the U.S., will resume regular production at its assembly plant in Wentzville, Mo., on Monday, Sept. 27, a company spokesman said.

Wentzville builds the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups and the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans.

And GM will restart production at its Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant a week later – on Monday, Oct. 4. Lansing Delta Township, which has been idle since July 19, makes the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave SUVs.

The result: “All of GM’s full-size SUV, full-size truck and mid-size truck plants in North America will be running regular production,” the spokesman said.

He noted that the issue of parts shortages is still “complex and very fluid.” Still, that’s a change from prior weeks in which GM has regularly stretched plant downtime further into the future.

Toyota and Ford said they, too, had no new updates regarding plant downtime. Other automakers – Nissan and Daimler, for example – said their U.S. plants were operating as usual.

In the U.S., Nissan operates assembly plants in Smyrna, Tenn., and in Canton, Miss. Daimler, the German parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has plants in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Charleston, S.C.

But it’s not good news across the board.

Stellantis – the Dutch parent company of Chrysler – has scheduled downtime the week of Sept. 27 at its Jefferson North plant in Detroit and at its Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant. Outside of the U.S, the company’s assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, and its truck plant in Saltillo, Mexico, will also be down next week.

A company spokeswoman chalked the additional downtime up to “the unprecedented global microchip shortage.”

Jefferson North makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs. Belvidere makes the Jeep Cherokee SUV. Brampton makes the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger cars. And Saltillo makes the Ram pickup truck.

Stellantis will, however, resume output next week at its assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, the spokeswoman said.

Windsor makes the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager and Chrysler Grand Caravan minivans.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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