Barnas declined to comment on any specific figures involving vehicles awaiting parts at the plant.
On March 19, a production line where semiconductor chip wafers are made at Renesas Electronics Corp. in Japan caught fire. A source familiar with GM said this latest shutdown at Wentzville and the extended shutdown at other plants is not connected to that fire.
"I can't say it will or won't have an affect on the supply chain, but it's too early to say what if any the impact may be," said the source, who asked to not be named because he is not authorized to share that information with the media.
GM has not taken downtime or reduced shifts at any of its full-size pickup or full-size SUV plants due to the shortage, Barnas said. GM makes its heavy-duty pickups at Flint Assembly and its light-duty pickups at Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana and Silao Assembly in Mexico.
GM intends to make up as much production lost at these plants as possible, Barnas said, adding that the production disruptions are not expected to change the company's projected earnings for the year.
"We contemplated these type of actions when we discussed our outlook for 2021 last month," Barnas said.
GM's impacted plants
Demand for semiconductor chips is up in part because of the coronavirus pandemic and increased demand for laptop computers and other personal electronics that use the chips. Cars also use them in a variety of parts and infotainment systems. In fact, one car part could use 500 to 1,500 chips depending on the complexity of the part, analysts said.
GM has shut down production at the following plants:
—Since Feb. 8: Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kansas: About 2,000 hourly workers build the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Cadillac XT4 SUV.