GMC is on track to hit record sales of its Sierra heavy-duty and light-duty pickups this year despite continued thin inventory amid a global shortage of semiconductor chips.
The scarcity of chips, which are used in a variety of vehicle parts, has crippled auto industry production. But General Motors has managed to keep its truck plants running, for the most part, throughout the crisis.
"We've done very well. We believe we can still have an all-time sales record on the Sierra," Duncan Aldred, global vice president of Buick GMC, told reporters Tuesday. "When we get chips, we generally put them in Sierra and Yukons and we've managed quite well through that (chip shortage) this year. We expect an improvement next year."
By year-end, GM expects to restart its Oshawa Assembly plant in Ontario where it will assemble Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups. GM currently builds the vehicles in three other plants in North America.
But Aldred warned that GMC dealers will still operate on a deliver-to-order basis for pickups because demand will outpace supply for awhile.
Despite the chip challenges, Aldred said as of Tuesday more than half of GMC dealers have signed up to install electric-vehicle chargers and pay for other equipment needed to sell the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup that is on schedule to arrive to market by year-end.
At Sellers Buick GMC in Farmington, owner Sam Slaughter said his store is selling Sierra pickups at the fastest pace he's seen in recent history.
"We're selling every one we get and most of them are presold because people want to tag whatever Sierra they can get," Slaughter told the Free Press. "Most of them are AT4, Denali and Elevation, the higher-end trims."
The 2021 Sierra AT4 light-duty pickup starts at $54,700, the Denali at $55,800 and the Elevation at $43,100.