General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra said that getting truck production like the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 back on track was a priority when restarting the company. However, Chevrolet has been forced to delay adding its second shifts because of parts shortages.
Plants in Mexico Are Not Yet Operating Under COVID-19 Restrictions
Several key components for both the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the Heavy-Duty Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 are produced in Mexico and plants there are not yet up to speed. The 2020 GMC Sierra light and heavy-duty trucks are experiencing similar setbacks. The Mexican government has not given the parts plants the go ahead to resume production. When they do get the green light, it may take a week or two to restart the plants with the new COVID-19 protection plans in place.
Little Parts Inventory On Hand
Automakers changed to just-in-time productions plans years ago. Just-in-time saves the automakers millions because they keep better track of their parts inventory and no longer produce parts they will never need. They also save millions because they no longer store excess parts inventory. However, the just-in-time production also means that there can be hiccups in situations like this when the plants get out of sync.
Fort Wayne Assembly, in Indiana, builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light duty trucks. Flint Assembly, in Michigan, builds the Chevrolet and GMC heavy-duty trucks. Both were scheduled to start adding the second shifts on Tuesday, but the added shifts have been delayed at this point.
Truck Delays are Especially Frustrating
The delays are especially frustrating for Chevrolet because the Silverado has been on a hot streak. The Chevrolet Silverado was selling incredibly well during the first quarter until the Coronavirus forced dealers to close and the plants to shut down. 2020 Silverado light duty sales were up 33.6 percent over 2019 for the first quarter. Chevy’s most popular truck even overtook the 2020 Ram 1500 in first quarter sales.
Impossible to Predict the Length of Delays
It is unclear at this point how long the GM truck production will be slowed. It all depends on the Mexican government and when it allows the parts plants to resume production.
Because the Chevrolet and GMC trucks are so profitable, the automaker will do everything it can to get its plants running safely at the highest capacity it is allowed. In the short term, it may mean that some of the most popular trim styles and configurations are hard to find.
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