If you were looking forward to picking up a brand new Buick Enclave this year, you might have to wait a bit longer to get one.
The GM-owned Lansing Delta Township facility is putting a stop to the production of several vehicles, including the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. The reason: the seemingly never-ending global microchip shortage.
This Isn’t The Only Occurrence
Workers at this plant were taken back in July when they heard the news that production would stop and last for at least a month. Sadly, the Lansing Delta Township Facility is just one of several GM facilities that had to pull the plug on production over the summer.
The Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas had to stop production of the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4 while the Lansing Grand River plant had to slow down on the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 vehicles. The good news is that vehicles like the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac Blackwing will continue in limited production out the Lansing Grand River location.
The Covid Chip Shortage
The world practically came to a halt over the last 18 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Part of the result of this virus was the closing of factories around the world. At the same time, consumer electronics remained in high demand. Manufacturers couldn’t obtain microchips fast enough to keep up with orders.
This shortage wasn’t just a result of furloughed factories or shutdowns. Most of the world’s electronics go through the Yantian port in China. When this port closed, hundreds of shipping containers had to dock and wait. When the port reopened, there was a severe bottle-necking problem.
The problem worsens when you consider there are only a handful of factories that make these microchips. Even a delay in a single production line could cause a shortage. What we see now is the result of a massive delay.
Decisions Were Made
Even though microchip production is mostly back in action, there is still a higher demand for these parts than the supply allows. That means GM had to decide how to use their supply. It made sense to stick with the most popular vehicles like the Chevy Silverado, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon, and the Cadillac Escalade.
GM also had to make other decisions that would keep vehicles in production. One of these decisions involves cutting back on certain features like Active/Dynamic Fuel Management, HD radio, and so on. In many cases, vehicles are being fully built with everything but the microchip.
These nearly complete automobiles are then parked in anticipation of new chips coming in for installation.GM is currently looking to create contracts with microchip manufacturers to ensure this kind of shortage doesn’t happen again. Until then, you still might be able to find vehicles like the Buick Enclave at your local dealer, but don’t expect to find every trim and option available. For that, your new Buick Enclave may just have to wait.