GM reduces production amid chip shortage, Canadian auto sales plunge

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General Motors Co will reduce production at most North American assembly plants this month because of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, hitting its profitable truck and sport utility vehicles, it said
on Thursday.

The largest U.S. automaker will halt production next week at its Fort Wayne plant in Indiana and its Silao plant in Mexico, both of which build pickup trucks. In total, GM is cutting production at eight North American assembly plants in September.

The industry wide chip shortage is causing massive auto production cuts around the globe.

Earlier this week, Ford Motor Co said it will also cut truck production next week because of the chips shortage, while Toyota Motor Corp said last month it will slash global production for September by 40% from its previous plan.

Read more: Toyota slashing production by 40% to 60% due to COVID-19, supply issues

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GM will halt production at its Wentzville, Missouri plant for two weeks starting Sept. 6 that builds midsize trucks and full-size vans. GM will also halt production at the CAMI Assembly in Canada and San Luis Potosi Assembly in Mexico for two additional weeks. The company builds its Equinox SUV at both plants.

The automaker is also idling production for two additional weeks at its Lansing Delta Township plant that builds the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave.

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General Motors aims to be carbon neutral by 2040

GM’s Spring Hill Tennessee plant will cut two weeks of production in September that builds the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6, while its Ramos, Mexico plant will take two additional weeks of downtime for Blazer production, while Equinox production will be down thru the week of Sept. 27.

Production of the Equinox has been down since Aug. 16.

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GM said during production downtime it will repair and ship unfinished vehicles from many impacted plants, including Fort Wayne and Silao.

Auto sales dip in Canada

Canadian auto sales continued to struggle last month, falling 11.4 per cent from the prior year, driven by vehicle shortages caused by semiconductor supply issues.

According to estimates compiled by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, Canadian light vehicle sales totalled 146,925 units in August, compared with 165,837 a year earlier.

Sales were also down 19.2 per cent from the 182,040 sold in August 2019, before COVID-19.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales came in at 1.62 million, the second lowest month this year, said managing partner Andrew King.

He says vehicle shortages had varying impacts from one company to another, with some posting increased sales, while others saw dramatic declines after being hard hit by supply chain shortages.

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However, DesRosiers says company-level data is released quarterly.

The early report card for the industry: “Lots of promise, but failing to live up to potential.”

with files from Canadian Press

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