General Motors will keep the company’s assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan outside Detroit shuttered for another two weeks, beginning Sept. 13, while resuming production at two plants in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Silao, Mexico.
A GM spokesman said the Orion Assembly will take two additional weeks of downtime as a result of a battery pack shortage related to the recently announced Bolt EV/EUV safety recall.
“We are extending downtime to include the weeks of Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 to continue to work with our supplier to update manufacturing processes,” said GM spokesman David Barnas.
The company also is extending the shutdowns for one week until Sept. 20 at assembly plants in at Delta Township, Michigan, just outside Lansing, and Wentzville, Missouri, outside St. Louis. It also lengthened the shutdown of the Chevy Blazer line at the company’s plant in Ramos Arizpe.
The semiconductor-related shutdown will also continue at GM assembly plants in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Fairfax, Kansas, and Lansing next week. All three plants are scheduled to remain closed until Sept. 20, the automaker said.
GM parks finished SUVs without chips
In addition, GM confirmed it is building and parking full-sized sport-utility vehicles assembled at its plant in Arlington, Texas.
“As we have said previously, when there is a shortage of semiconductors that impacts production, in some cases we intend to build vehicles without certain modules and will complete them as soon as possible. This includes Arlington,” Barnas said.
“It’s better for our customers, dealers and employees at the plant as opposed to not building at all. Importantly, it will help us quickly meet the strong customer demand for our products as more semiconductors become available and we are able to complete the vehicles at the assembly plants and ship to dealers.”
Not just GM
GM isn’t the only company entering the new model year with depleted inventories.
Stellantis also confirmed it was extending the shutdown at assembly plant in Belvedere, Illinois and Windsor, Ontario due to a shortage of semiconductors.
Both plants have been shuttered for extended periods this year because of the computer-chip shortages, which have lasted long than carmakers have expected and now threaten to extend through 2022.
Labor dispute threatens Ram, Jeep
Production of some of Stellantis Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs is being threatened by a strike at an axle plant run by ZF Friedrichshafen, an hour northeast of Detroit.
The United Auto Workers set up pickets outside the plant in Marysville, Michigan in a dispute over recognition.
Half the 340 employees are already unionized under an older labor agreement the UAW signed with Fiat Chrysler prior to the merger. The unionized employees have a contract and are continuing to work despite the presence of the pickets.
The other half of the employees come from a non-union plant run by ZF and the UAW wants ZF to recognize the results of a recent “card check” in which employees asked for union representation. ZF wants to hold an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board before it recognized the union
Meanwhile, the plant continues continued to ship products to Stellantis assembly plants, according to a ZF spokesman said. But union representatives said production output at the plant has been reduced and could drop further if the dispute is not resolved.