General Motors will idle its profitable midsize pickup plant in Missouri for two weeks and extend the shutdown at Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan into April due to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips used in various car parts.
In a memo to the 3,500 workers at Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, where GM builds its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups, the automaker said the plant will shutter from March 29 through April 5.
GM also said it is moving forward its launch construction downtime at that plant by about two weeks. It will now be shut down from May 24 to July 19, instead of the shutdown starting sometime in June.
Pulling ahead the downtime will give GM more time to build product to meet customer demand throughout the remainder of the year, GM wrote in an employee memo obtained by the Detroit Free Press. It said portions of the factory will remain active to support limited projects. GM also builds its full-size vans at Wentzville, but that production is not impacted by the chip shortage, the automaker said.
GM spokesman David Barnas confirmed the two-week shutdown at Wentzville.
But he added that GM is able to bring its mid-size SUV plant in Mexico back on production starting April 5 because GM's supply team secured the chip parts for the vehicles built there.
“GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers," Barnas said. "We continue to work closely with our supply base to find solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate impact on GM."
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The global chip shortage crisis has crippled production across many automakers.
At Wentzville, two hourly workers, who asked to not be named for fear of losing their jobs for talking to the media, say more than 20,000 midsize pickups are in a holding area — built, but awaiting parts with chips to be completed and shipped.