Back in the middle of March, General Motors announced that they would be halting production at their Lansing Grand River Assembly plant until at least the end of the month. As we now approach the end of April, the home of the Chevrolet Camaro, Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models remains offline. This of course came as a result of the global semiconductor chip shortage that is wreaking havoc across the automotive industry here in the United States. Thanks to a new report from Automotive News, we now know that GM has officially confirmed that production will resume at the facility starting on May 3.
According to the report, General Motors will start building the Chevrolet Camaro as well as the Cadillac CT4 and Cadillac CT5 sedans starting in the first week of May. In order to get ready for this restart, some areas of the plant will actually go online this week in partial shifts to prepare for general assembly. When Lansing Grand River Assembly begins cranking vehicles out on May 3, it will mark the end of a 49 day shutdown. That is comparable to the amount of time that American automakers had to close their production facilities at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
According to LMC Automotive, the semiconductor chip shortage played a role in shrinking the U.S. light-vehicle inventory to its lowest figure in more than a decade, with just 2.4 million vehicles available at the end of March. The economic ramifications for automakers are looking rather serious, with GM’s neighbor Ford stating they are looking at profit losses of between $1.5 and $2.5 billion in 2021. This has caused automakers to seek help from the federal government in their efforts to secure a stockpile of automotive-grade silicon. No action has been taken by the federal government regarding this request.
Now it is worth noting that there may be some reasons behind why GM decided to halt production at LGR Assembly for as long as they did. Most notably is the fact that the Chevrolet Camaro and the Cadillac twins aren’t necessarily top sellers. The automaker likely has a decent amount of inventory of these particular models laying around, and opted to save semiconductor chips for more profitable vehicles. Regardless, we’re glad to hear that the 1,400 people who work at Lansing Grand River Assembly will be heading back to work shortly. And of course that the Chevrolet Camaro, Cadillac CT4 and Cadillac CT5 will start rolling down the assembly line once again.