As the global microchip shortage worsened and settled in for the long haul, chip crisis, GM, like other manufacturers across the industry, was forced to build models that were incomplete due to missing parts.
This obviously created a significant backlog of deliveries, with dealer lots filling up with new, but incomplete vehicles.
We may be seeing signs that we have passed peak chip shortage. GM has announced that it is making progress in shrinking its backlog, and that it has now shipped more than half of the models that were awaiting components.
Last Friday, Steve Carlisle, GM's top boss for North America, had this to say at the Reuters Events Automotive Summit:
“We've made great progress. We're a bit better than halfway through that at the moment and our goal would be to clear out our '21 model years by the end of the year. We'll have a bit of a tail of '22 model years into the new year but not for too long.”
- Steve Carlisle, CEO of General Motors North America
Last month, GM CFO Paul Jacobson warned that GM's third-quarter deliveries could be cut by 200,000 units due to the crisis, though he didn’t specify how much of that was pickup trucks.
To speed up the transportation of newly built vehicles to dealerships, Steve Carlisle said GM had purchased a number of transport trucks to deliver vehicles from factories or distribution centres. The U.S. giant also allowed dealers in some locations to pick up the models they were waiting for themselves.
Carlisle added that new vehicle inventories have fallen to under 20 days in the U.S. due to supply chain disruptions, but the company wants to increase that again to 30 or 45 days, or even 60 days depending on the model type.