The engines were assembled en route down the assembly line at General Motors (GM) manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, on August 22, 2019.
Harrison McClary | Reuters
DETROIT – General Motors resumes production at a crossover facility in Tennessee earlier than expected after improving shipments of the semiconductor chips needed to make vehicles at the facility.
The automaker’s Spring Hill assembly plant will go back into production on Monday instead of April 26, a week earlier than the company originally announced on Thursday. The system builds the crossovers GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 and XT6.
A GM spokesperson attributed the schedule change to short-term improvements in supplies that enabled the automaker to avoid the impact on production at the plant. The United Auto Workers union notified Spring Hill’s 2,800 hourly workers of the change in plans on Tuesday.
The company will also not stop production of the Chevrolet Blazer at a plant in Mexico next week, which was announced last week due to the shortage of chips. Other plant downtimes due to the parts failure in Michigan, Kansas and Canada remain unchanged.
“Following our announcement last Thursday, April 8th, GM’s supply chain organization has made progress in working with our supply base to mitigate the short-term impact of the semiconductor situation on both the Spring Hill Assembly and the Ramos Assembly “said GM in a statement emailed.
Automotive executives have described the chip shortage as fluent. GM, Ford Motor and others said the shortage will reduce their revenues by billions in 2021.
Semiconductors are key components in the automotive industry that are used in, among other things, infotainment, power steering and braking systems. With multiple factories closed last year due to Covid, suppliers turned semiconductors away from automakers and into other industries, creating a shortage after consumer demand fell more than expected. The parts can contain different sizes and types of chips.
The happiness change for GM, while unrelated, comes a day after CEO Mary Barra and other executives from automotive, technology, and various industries met with President Joe Biden to discuss the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips.
After the meeting, GM, Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) and a lobby group for the Detroit automakers made statements saying they were grateful that the Biden administration held the meeting and made the issue a priority. They said they looked forward to working with Biden to fix the shortage as well as long-term safeguards for the supply of such parts.