GM extends 3 plant shutdowns and adds fourth due to ongoing semiconductor chip shortage

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General Motors is extending the downtime at three North American factories that began in February through at least mid-April as it prioritizes the production of its full-size pickups and SUVs during the ongoing semiconductor shortage affecting the automotive industry.

The facilities include the Fairfax, Kan, assembly plant that builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4 and two facilities in Canada and Mexico that produce the Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Trax and GMC Terrain SUVs.

The automaker will also pause production in April and May at its Gravatai, Brazil, factory, which builds vehicles for the local market.

GM said that it hasn't yet needed to reduce output at any of the plants that build its highly profitable and in-demand trucks and that the possibility of extended production cuts was factored into its outlook for 2021 discussed on February's earnings call.

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GM didn't say how much volume it expects to lose during the closures, but AutoForecast Solutions estimates the number is 216,000 vehicles. GM said it will aim to make up for any losses in the second half of 2021 if chip supplies allow.

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