The Spring Hill General Motors plant began a temporary period of reduced production this week after the auto manufacturer was forced to idle four of its manufacturing facilities due to an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips, according to an internal memo obtained by the Detroit Free Press.
The worldwide chip shortage has plagued manufacturers across multiple industries since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Major causes of the shortage include an increased demand of computers during the pandemic, with the last quarter of 2020 showing a more than 26 percent increase in computer shipments when compared to the same time in 2019. Another cause has been a severe drought experienced in Taiwan, a major chip manufacturing hub.
Former President Donald Trump's trade war with China has also been blamed for the ongoing chip shortage, with U.S.-imposed tariffs and trade barriers leading to difficulties for Chinese chip manufacturers selling their products to American companies.
An estimated 169 different industries have been impacted by the chip shortage, including the video game, computer and motor vehicle industries.
Spring Hill Manufacturing
The Spring Hill GM plant, which produces GMC Acadia SUVs, the Cadillac XT5 and XT6, is expected to remain idle through at least July 26. Allison May, communications manager for the Spring Hill GM plant, provided the Home Page with the following statement:
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 minimize the impact to our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers. These most recent scheduling adjustments are being driven by temporary parts shortages caused by semiconductor supply constraints from international markets experiencing COVID-19-related restrictions. We expect it to be a near-term issue.
An anonymous Spring Hill GM plant worker told the Detroit Free Press that working hours have been reduced at the facility amid the continued shortage, and that there are over 10,000 cars sitting idle "waiting on chips."