GM restarting some plants hit by chips shortage

FILE PHOTO: Logo of GM atop the company headquarters

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -General Motors Co said Thursday it will be soon be restarting production at five assembly plants around the world that have been idled due to a global semiconductor chips shortage.

GM said it is restarting operations at four plants in the United States, Mexico and Canada starting next week. Two plants in Mexico – San Luis Potosi Assembly and Ramos Assembly – that build the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Blazer will resume production on May 31.

GM said its “supply chain organization continues to make strides working with our supply base to mitigate the near-term impacts of the semiconductor situation.”

GM shares were up 4% in early trading.

Next week GM will also resume full production on May 31 at its Bupyeong 1 Assembly in South Korea, which produces the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Encore GX and has been operating at 50% capacity since April 26, and return the Changwon assembly plant to two shifts.

GM’s CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, that builds the Equinox will resume production earlier than expected on June 14 and run through July 2. The plant has been idled since February 8.

Lansing Grand River will restart production of the Chevrolet Camaro earlier than expected on June 21. The plant has been down since May 10.

GM said it continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build its most in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs, but said the situation continues to remain fluid globally.

Earlier this month, consulting firm AlixPartners said the global semiconductor chip shortage will cost automakers $110 billion in lost revenues this year, up from a prior estimate of $61 billion, as it forecast the crisis will hit the production of 3.9 million vehicles.

(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Nick Zieminski)