As all of Detroit’s automakers try to work their way through the global semiconductor chip shortage, they’ve had to take some drastic measures. General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis have all closed major production facilities for varying amounts of time, and the number of vehicles being built globally has dropped exponentially. In fact, GM President Mark Reuss has gone as far as to call this the worst supply chain crisis he’s seen during his career. With chip supplies remaining scarce, General Motors is adopting a new strategy to make best use of their remaining stock. According to a report from The Detroit News, GM has opted to eliminate Stop/Start functionality from their T1 SUV lineup. This lineup includes the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade models.
T1 SUVs Lose Stop/Start
General Motors dominates full size SUV market with the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade models. As a result, this decision is admittedly centered around keeping their production moving. According to the report, the production shift will only impact the 5.3L and 6.2L V8-powered models however. Considering how popular these V8s are, this decision will effect a large portion of the T1 SUV customers regardless. GM has also confirmed that the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 with these engines are losing Stop/Start as well.
“By taking this measure, it will enable us to continue production of our high-demand full-size SUV and pickups as the industry continues to rebound and strengthen,” GM spokesman Kevin Kelly said in a statement. “Most of the affected vehicles will experience a minor reduction in fuel economy and customers will receive a $50 (U.S.) credit on the MSRP for affected vehicles.”
This is not the first time that the global semiconductor chip shortage has spurred GM to remove a fuel-saving feature. Earlier this year, the automaker began shipping Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups without their Dynamic Fuel Management modules. That move saw the vehicle’s fuel economy ratings drop by an average of one mpg. While we don’t expect that large of a fall without Stop/Start on T1 SUV models, it will surely have some effect on efficiency. Then again, some customers might not mind having a vehicle without the ever-intrusive Stop/Start technology.
If you are in the market for a GM T1 SUV or one of the half-ton pickups powered by the V8s, there is currently no timeline from the automaker as to when this Stop/Start functionality will return. You could always spec one of the other powertrain options if the fuel-saving tech is important to you, like the 3.0L Duramax diesel for instance. Either way, it’s clear that automakers are having to get creative to work their way through this supply chain failure. Analysts have projected that things should start to get better during Q3, so here’s to hoping everything gets back on track soon.