businessAutos

As chip supply improves, GM Arlington will add overtime shifts

The massive plant where GM’s profit-making SUVs are built will increase production in November.

General Motors’ semiconductor chip woes may be easing up a bit — for now — and the company is adding weekend overtime shifts at its most profitable assembly plants, including Arlington.

The Arlington assembly plant employs 5,000 workers and builds the company’s best-selling SUVs, including the GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs.

GM officials in Arlington didn’t respond when asked how production would change at the plant.

GM chief executive Mary Barra told investors Wednesday that the company’s semiconductor chip supply is improving, but she described the situation as “somewhat volatile.”

The supply shocks aren’t going away entirely. Looking ahead, Barra said she expects GM to face hiccups again in the second half of next year.

The company plans to bolster production shifts at critical assembly plants, including those that produce trucks and SUVs in Mexico, Fort Wayne, Ind., Wentzville, Mo., Lansing, Mich., and Arlington, according to The Detroit News.

November is expected to be the first month since February that the company won’t have to idle production at any plants due to the chip shortage, although some are running with fewer shifts, according to CNBC.

February’s ice storm kicked off a tumultuous year of on-again-off-again operations, and the automaker has placed priority on its highly profitable SUVs and trucks.

The company topped earnings and revenue expectations in the third quarter and has told investors that its full-year financial performance would be at the high end of previous guidance. High demand for vehicles and limited inventory at dealerships has driven strong price increases for GM.

Even as the automaker increases production in the coming months, inventory will remain low and higher sticker prices will stick around, chief financial officer Paul Jacobsen said.

The global semiconductor shortage is anticipated to cost vehicle manufacturers around the world $110 billion in revenue for the full year in 2021, according to consulting group AlixPartners.

Dom DiFurio. Dom is a staff writer covering business news and consumer-focused companies in North Texas. His work has also been published in The Washington Post, USA Today, ESPN Magazine and others, and has been recognized by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and Columbia University.

ddifurio@dallasnews.com /domdifurio @DomDiFurio
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