GM temporarily shuts down North American factories because of chip shortage
By: Andrew J. Hawkins (The Verge)
So where's the friggin' robots? Are we supposed to believe that AI controlled robotic automation won't function in the United States?
Chip manufacturing is highly automated. Producing electronic chips ain't a Milton Friedman buzzkill using shovels instead of bulldozers. There isn't a need for human resources, unfunded pension liabilities, or diversity training. They're freakin' machines.
The United States can't even produce what it needs with automation anymore. Even automated manufacturing is beyond the ability of our business leaders. Elon Musk can build above ground tunnels and shoot automobiles into space but can't produce electronic chips with robots?
The grand new industrial revolution relying on artificial intelligence and robotic automation won't create jobs in the United States. We have too many financially brilliant stupid people in charge to allow that to happen. Our house is in danger of collapse for want of a nail because we can't make nails.
General Motors, parent company of Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, and Buick, said it was temporarily halting production at six of its North American factories as a result of the global chip shortage. It's the latest major automaker to be affected by the tight supply of essential computer chips.
Four of GM's US-based plants will be affected: Fort Wayne, Indiana; Wentzville, Missouri; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan. Four other factories in Mexico and Canada will also go dark for several weeks as GM works to shore up its supply of chips. The halt in production will affect GM's most profitable vehicles, including pickup trucks and SUVs.
"During the downtime, we will repair and ship unfinished vehicles from many impacted plants, including Fort Wayne and Silao, to dealers to help meet the strong customer demand for our products," a spokesperson said in an email. "Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, we remain confident in our team's ability to continue finding creative solutions to minimize the impact on our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles."
Affected vehicles include the Chevy Silverado, Cheyenne, Traverse, Equinox, and Express; GMC Acadia, Sierra, Savana, Terrain, and Canyon; Buick Enclave; and Cadillac XT5 and XT6.
This is the second time GM has had to announce temporary factory shutdowns in response to the chip shortage. The automaker, which is the largest in North America, previously idled several factories for two weeks back in April.
Of course, GM isn't alone in feeling the pain from the global shortage of semiconductor chips, which is showing no signs of improvement. Practically every automaker has had to cut production and temporarily shut down factories in response, including Volkswagen, Ford, and Toyota.
Even Tesla, which makes far fewer vehicles than most of its rivals, said that it had to rewrite its vehicles' software to support alternative chips. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during an earnings call that "the global chip shortage situation remains quite serious."
During a recent earnings call, GM executives wouldn't specify how much production they expect to lose to the chip shortage. But CEO Mary Barra said purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, and sales teams are working to divert the chips from cars and smaller SUVs to full-size pickup trucks, big SUVs, and new electric vehicles. The company stressed that the shortage would cost $1.5 billion to $2 billion in earnings before taxes this year due to lost production.