Supply chain disruptions related to semiconductor chips continue to affect automotive production and GM announced it has decided to pause production at its Fort Wayne, Indiana, assembly plant.
The plant makes the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks. GM will idle the plant for two weeks starting on April 4, citing chip shortages.
“There is still uncertainty and unpredictability in the semiconductor supply base, and we are actively working with our suppliers to mitigate potential issues moving forward,” GM said per Reuters.
The automaker says, though, that this is its first production interruption for full-size trucks related to semi-conductor chips since August 2021. It further noted that the consistency of semiconductor supply has been better so far in 2022 than it was last year. That has meant better deliveries in Q1.
The automotive industry struggled mightily with shortages of semiconductors in 2021, pushing many to slow production lines and, in some cases, to sell vehicles without some features in order to get them out to customers. Many had hoped for increasing supply this year, but industry experts indicated that supplies might be tight through the first half of 2022.
The problem is serious enough, though, that GM CEO Mary Barra was in Washington, D.C. this week meeting with lawmakers. The automaker supports a bill in Congress that would provide $52 billion in government subsidies to boost U.S. semiconductor manufacturing. GM believes that this could help “alleviate the ongoing shortage that continues to impact U.S. automotive manufacturing.”
As Russian aggression in Ukraine continues, though, semiconductor chip supplies are further threatened. The countries are responsible for 70 percent of the global supply of neon, a gas used in the lasers that produce the chips. That has led industry experts to believe that if the conflict goes on for long enough, it could lead to a second wave of serious chip shortages.