General Motors Co. is halting production of its light-duty trucks at the Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana for two weeks next month — marking the first time this year the Detroit automaker has shut down a plant because of the semiconductor shortage.
All of GM’s North American assembly plants have been on regular production schedules since Nov. 1, 2021, the company noted.
GM and other automakers have been dealing with the chip shortage since the start of 2021. It’s cost the industry billions in revenue since automakers had to halt production at various plants.
“Overall, we have seen better consistency in semiconductor supply through the first quarter compared to last year as a whole,” GM spokesman Dan Flores said in a statement. “This has translated into improvement in our production and deliveries during the first three months of the year. However, 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.”
The Fort Wayne downtime will be the first semiconductor-related full-size truck production impact since August 2021, Flores noted.
Fort Wayne — which GM pushed to keep open as much as possible last year because it’s home to its profit-rich, in-demand trucks — will be down the weeks of April 4 and April 11. Regular production is expected to resume Tuesday, April 19, with third shift reporting April 18, according to a notice sent to employees Friday from the plant’s executive director, Gary Duff, that was obtained by The Detroit News.
“I know schedule changes like this cause disruptions in our lives,” Duff wrote. “The decision was not an easy one to make by the company. Please use this time to reconnect with family and friends, refresh your bodies, and recharge your minds. So, when we return, we will be ready to build the best trucks in the world with pride.”
Fort Wayne makes the GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
GM’s Silao Assembly in Mexico, where the Sierra and Silverado light-duty trucks are also built, is not affected by the chip shortage. Production of heavy-duty trucks at Flint Assembly and Oshawa Assembly in Ontario will run the weeks of April 4 and April 11.