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GM to pause production as several North America plants suffer with chip shortage

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GM to pause production as several North America plants suffer with chip shortage

General Motors will pause production at four of its North American automobile assembly plants for two weeks as the industry continues to be affected by the global shortage of semiconductor chips, a spokeswoman for the company said July 16.

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Production at the company's Spring Hill assembly plant in Tennessee and Lansing Delta Township assembly plant in Michigan will be down beginning the week of July 19 and continuing through the week of July 26.

Additionally, the company is taking two weeks of downtime at its San Luis Potosi assembly plant and Ramos assembly plant in Mexico through the week of July 26.

"These most recent scheduling adjustments are being driven by temporary parts shortages caused by semiconductor supply constraints from international markets experiencing COVID-19 restrictions," GM spokeswoman Kristen Ackerman said in a statement. "We expect it to be a near-term issue."

GM also has extended previously announced downtime at its CAMI assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, which builds the Chevy Equinox, Ackerman said. The outage at the plant, which was originally scheduled for July 19 through the week of July 26, will be extended through the week of Aug.16.

"The global semiconductor shortage remains complex and very fluid, but GM's global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to maximize production of high-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles," Ackerman said.

The company is leveraging every available semiconductor to build and ship out full-size trucks and SUVs, she said.

Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups built at the company's Wentzville Assembly in Missouri increased by about 30,000 total units from mid-May through July 14 as the team completed dynamic vehicle testing on units held at the plant because of semiconductor disruptions, Ackerman said.

Shipments of production of Colorado and Canyon models at Wentzville will resume as planned on July 19 following its scheduled launch-related downtime to prepare for the next-generation mid-size trucks, she said.

Global automotive production has been challenged by the shortage of semiconductor chips throughout 2021.

At the start of July, Ford significantly cut its production for the month as it said it was prioritizing customer vehicles that were assembled without certain parts due to the industry-wide semiconductor shortage.

US flat-rolled steel market participants have been keeping a close eye on updates about auto shutdowns as hot-dipped galvanized sheet prices have reached fresh all-time highs each week and those shutdowns would at least help mills catch up with their backlogs and stabilize prices, sources said. Buyers, however, noted no immediate relief in the marketplace as HDG spot availability remained very limited and mills continued to push prices higher for such products.

The daily Platts TSI US HDG-HRC index rose $43.50 over the week to $2,043.50/st July 16, while the daily Platts TSI US HDG-CRC index was up by $31.50 at $2,036.75/st within the same time frame. HDG prices have risen by roughly $900/st year to date, as a supply-demand imbalance has continued for those products.