The US auto giant General Motors (GM), affected like the entire industry by a shortage of microchips, announced Wednesday that it would suspend production at three factories in the United States, Canada and Mexico, next week.
For the same reason, the company will halve activity at its Bupyeong 2 plant in South Korea, a statement said.
As the availability of the parts concerned remains very uncertain, the group plans to reassess the situation every week.
Microchips are essential to the automotive industry but also highly prized by many sectors since the pandemic has accelerated the rise of teleworking and leisure at home.
With the spectacular rebound in automotive production in recent months, semiconductor manufacturers, mainly located in Asia, are struggling to meet global demand.
Several large manufacturers such as Volkswagen in Germany or Ford in the United States have also had to temporarily reduce production in certain factories.
General Motors claims to work “closely” with its suppliers to lessen the impact on its factories. But “the shortage of semiconductors will affect the production of GM in 2021”, indicates the group.
For now, the company wants to focus on producing the most popular vehicles, pick-ups, SUVs and Corvettes. But she hopes to “recover as much as possible the lost production” because of the closure of the factories concerned.
Contacted by AFP, a spokesperson for GM stressed that workers at its factories in Canada and the United States would receive around 75% of their wages during the shutdown, via unemployment benefits and additional aid.