On Nov. 1, no GM plants will be closed due to chip shortage

Oct 22, 2021, 12:35 AM | Updated: 12:52 pm
The Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierra pickups built at Flint Assembly are packed on Sept. 21, 202...

The Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierra pickups built at Flint Assembly are packed on Sept. 21, 2021. For the first time in eight months, the global shortage of computer chips won’t force General Motors to close any North American factories. The company says Friday, Oct. 22, that as of Nov. 1, all plants that had been closed on and off since February due to the shortage will be making vehicles. The shortage has forced automakers to sporadically shut down plants since late last year. (Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

(Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — For the first time in eight months, the global shortage of computer chips won’t force General Motors to close any North American factories.

The company said Friday that starting Nov. 1, all plants that had been closed on and off since February because of the shortage will be cranking out vehicles.

The nation’s largest automaker and the rest of the global auto industry have been sporadically shutting down plants since late last year due to the semiconductor shortage, which has cut supplies on dealer lots and driven new vehicle prices to record levels.

To be sure, production still isn’t back to normal because some of the factories will only run on one shift per day.

Phil Amsrud, senior principal analyst for IHS Markit who studies the chip market, said GM’s move is a good sign, but doesn’t signal the end of the chip shortage. “It’s just not a sign that the patient is through all the rough spots and it’s a matter of weeks before they’re released from the hospital,” he said.

GM’s plants being open may be more of a sign that the company is getting better at dealing with shortages by getting rid of some optional features and diverting those chips to other uses, he said.

Chip supply shortages are easing a bit, he said, but there are still logjams with Asian “back end” companies that cut large silicon wafers into individual chips and test and package them for distribution.

Even as automakers get more wafers from big chip makers, the back end companies have limited capacity to deal with an overwhelming demand from personal electronics and other industries, Amsrud said.

Back end companies in Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia had been having trouble keeping factories open due to employees getting sick with the novel coronavirus, but that has eased a bit in some places, he said. “I wouldn’t write COVID off until COVID is completely off the stage,” Amsrud said.

Currently it takes about 52 weeks after an order is placed for an automaker to get finished chips, Amsrud said. The lead times are continuing to grow, and “that means there’s still uncertainty in the marketplace,” he said.

Under normal circumstances, automakers only had to wait 16 weeks from an order date to get chips, he said. Delivery times that plateau and start to improve will be “signs that we’re really starting to see the supply chain getting healthy again,” Amsrud said.

He expects shortages to persist most, if not all, of next year. But Amsrud said there will be improvements through the year.

GM isn’t calling an end to the chip shortage. It says in a statement that the situation remains “complex and very fluid,” but it’s confident about finding creative ways to mitigate semiconductor shortages.

The company said Friday that a dozen North American assembly plants that have been touched by the chip shortage would all be running starting Nov. 1. Two other plants are closed while they’re being outfitted to make electric vehicles, and another near Detroit is shut down while waiting for reworked Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle batteries after a recall due to fires.

The average sales price of a new vehicle hit a record $42,802 last month, breaking the old record of $41,528 set in August, J.D. Power said. The average is up nearly 19% from a year ago, when it broke $36,000 for the first time. Auto price increases have helped to drive up U.S. inflation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Space junk forces spacewalk delay, too risky for astronauts

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA called off a spacewalk Tuesday because of menacing space junk that could puncture an astronaut’s suit or damage the International Space Station. Two U.S. astronauts were set to replace a bad antenna outside of the space station. But late Monday night, Mission Control learned that a piece of orbiting […]
1 day ago
A woman adjusts her face mask as she passes a Christmas decorated shop front window in Athens, Gree...
Associated Press

Greece to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for over-60s

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Residents in Greece over age 60 will be fined 100 euros (more than $110) a month if they fail to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, under the first general COVID-19 mandate announced by the country’s government. The measure was announced in response to a surge in cases and the emergence of […]
1 day ago
Laborers work at a building construction site in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. India’s e...
Associated Press

India’s economy grows by 8.4% amid signs of recovery

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s economy grew by 8.4% in the July-September quarter from the same period a year earlier, the government announced Tuesday, raising hopes of a recovery after the country suffered historic contractions sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. India, Asia’s third-largest economy, suffered one of the biggest setbacks among major economies in the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Hungary’s parliament approves referendum on LGBT issues

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s parliament authorized the government Tuesday to call a national referendum on LGBT issues, the latest in a series of steps by the country’s nationalist leaders that critics say are intended to limit minority rights. Lawmakers from the governing Fidesz party approved four referendum questions pertaining to sex education programs in […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Military helicopter crash in Azerbaijan kills 14

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A military helicopter crashed in Azerbaijan during a training flight on Tuesday, killing 14 people and wounding two more, Azerbaijani authorities said. The helicopter of Azerbaijan’s State Border Guard service crashed on Tuesday morning during a flight over the Garaeybat training ground in the east of Azerbaijan, according to a joint […]
1 day ago
A woman wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, now mandatory in Britain in shops, shoppi...
Associated Press

Face masks again mandatory in England amid variant spread

LONDON (AP) — New measures to combat the new omicron variant of coronavirus came into force in England Tuesday, with face coverings again compulsory in shops and on public transport. From Tuesday morning, all travelers returning to the U.K. must also take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Previously they […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
On Nov. 1, no GM plants will be closed due to chip shortage