GM’s chip supply improves, some overtime shifts reinstated at truck plants

"We remain confident in our team’s ability to minimize the impact of the semiconductor shortages that have been impacting the industry”, says GM spokesman David Barnas.

On Monday, General Motors announced they will be reinstating overtime shifts at six manufacturing plants beginning in November, a move that indicates the effects of the chip shortage might be lessening slightly. The overtime available will be at plants that produce the most profitable vehicles in GM’s stable including pickups, midsize SUVs, and the Cadillac luxury line.

In a statement, GM spokesperson David Barnas said, “We are making some weekend overtime scheduling adjustments at our plants in November. Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, we remain confident in our team’s ability to minimize the impact of the semiconductor shortages that have been impacting the industry.”

Overtime at the affected plants has been suspended since February, and many of the regular shifts have been either trimmed back or canceled for several weeks since then. The return of overtime shifts also indicates that capacity is restored enough that regular shifts aren’t expected to be interrupted in the near term.

A Fort Wayne Plant communication dated Oct. 22 was shared by The Detroit News, in which Executive Director Gary Duff said, “The current availability of our semiconductor supply has improved and in order to help meet the high demand for our products, we are adding production Saturdays for all three shifts on November 6th and 20th.”

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The Fort Wayne Plant in Indiana produces the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty trucks. Along with their reinstated overtime shifts, Silao Assembly in Mexico will also have overtime available beginning in November. Silao production is idled this week due to the chip shortage but will resume on Nov. 1. They also assembly Silverado and Sierra pickups.

Missouri’s Wentzville Assembly will have OT shifts available, where the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado are made, and Arlington Assembly will resume overtime for full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

Both Lansing Delta Township and Lansing Grand River Assembly have overtime coming for November as well, ramping up production of the Cadillac CTS and CT5 models, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Buick Enclave, and the Chevrolet Traverse.

No more idled plants beginning Nov 1

Just last week, GM released a statement that as of the beginning of November, they did not expect to idle production in any of their facilities due to the global shortage of semiconductor chips. And although Silao Assembly is not building any new vehicles this week, they’re continuing to work through a backlog of unfinished trucks so they can be delivered to waiting customers.

The GM statement regarding Silao reads, “The scheduling adjustment is due to a temporary supply constraint caused by the global shortage of semiconductors. However, this period will provide us with the opportunity to complete unfinished vehicles at the plant and ship those units to dealers to help meet the strong customer demand for our light-duty pickup trucks.”

assembly plantsSome of GM’s plants will be resuming just one shift next week, however, so full capacity has not yet been established. That includes CAMI assembly in Ontario, Canada, Fairfax Assembly in Kansas for the Malibu, and one shift for the Equinox and Terrain at San Luis Potosi Assembly in Mexico.

GM still has assembly plants that are not in production mode right now, but not due to the chip shortage. Orion Assembly continues to idle this week as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV recall are focused on. Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center is retooling for the GMC Hummer EV launch that’s expected later in 2021, and Tennessee’s Spring Hill Assembly is also preparing to build EVs next year.

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