These so-called “dead” cars are vehicles that have come off the assembly line, otherwise ready for sale, sitting in fields or on lots near the factories that produced them, just waiting for chips.
Le New York Times even recently recounted an anecdote of a major dealership who went on a pilgrimage to a Ford factory to see all the “dead” cars for himself.
We have not been able to come up with a reliable estimate of the number of dead cars outside the factories, but we will guess that the number is significant.
And that number is expected to rise, as GM has announced that factories in Indiana, Michigan and Mexico that produce the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will shut down next week, thanks, you guessed it, to the shortage. of chips.
GM has so far avoided chip-related shutdowns by skipping some features and… building trucks and adding the chips later. Do you see how this “dead” car anecdote relates to today’s news?
Of course, stopping production is a step beyond finishing the vehicles and letting them sit until the flea cavalry arrives.
“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 progress working with it. the supply base to minimize the impact on our most demanded and limited capacity vehicles. , including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers, ”the company said in a statement.
Leaving vehicles partially finished and removing some functionality are just two options for automakers going through an unusual period.
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