General Motors Co. will halt production at several North American factories and extend shutdowns at some others because of a protracted shortage of semiconductor chips that is disrupting the auto industry’s hopes for a bounceback this year.
The auto maker said Thursday that three plants previously unaffected by the chip shortage will be idled or have output reduced for one or two weeks, including a factory in Tennessee and another in Michigan that make popular midsize sport-utility vehicles. Vehicles affected include the Chevrolet Traverse SUV, and the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 SUVs.
GM also will extend closures of a Kansas City-area factory and a plant in Ontario until May 10. Both facilities have been closed since February, as GM diverts chips from less-popular models to large pickup trucks and SUVs, which are its biggest profit producers.
“GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products,” a company spokesman said. So far, GM has avoided taking downtime at the four factories where it makes the company’s largest pickup trucks and SUVs, he said.
Meanwhile, GM said it would resume production April 12 at a Missouri factory that makes midsize pickup trucks and has been idled for two weeks due to the chip shortage.