General Motors is halting production at its Fort Wayne, IN, for the next two weeks. The plant closure, announced last week, reflects global supply chain issues for the auto industry.
GM’s Fort Wayne production plant makes light-duty trucks for the company. Because of the shortage of semiconductor chips, trucks have been sitting at the plant unfinished. Hopefully, the closure will allow the chips to catch up with truck production. Its sister plant in Silao will remain open for the time being.
GM intends to ramp up production of its electric vehicles soon, possibly leading to the closure of a truck-focused plant. With GM signaling its intent to build 400,000 electric vehicles this year, the global chip shortage will be an ongoing issue for the company.
The Detroit company is already struggling to keep its plants open. As Shanghai has entered another round of COVID lockdowns, GM has taken to mandating its workers sleep on the production floor to keep the plant open.
Plant closure part of larger trend
GM’s predicament is not unique. Globally, production companies are struggling to ramp production back up to pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 100,000 new vehicles were removed from production schedules over the last week due to the shortage. Auto manufacturers have been trying to increase production to help shore up a shortage of new vehicles, which has driven car prices to record levels.
The semiconductor chip shortage has caused major problems for the auto industry since the onset of COVID-19. Many production plants closed as the pandemic hit, creating shortages of both new vehicles and the chips that they needed. Lots of chip producers also wound up pivoting to computer chips, which were in higher demand at the time. As a result, the production of car chips has failed to rebound fully.
As long as the shortage remains, prices of both new and used cars will remain high. However, if you do find yourself purchasing a car during this time, make sure you get the professionals to help you get your new ride right to your door!