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Tuesday, 16 March 2021 16:31

GM Builds Pickups Without Fuel Economy Modules Due to Chip Shortage

Written by Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press
A GMC Sierra pickup on the assembly line at the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in 2019 in Roanoke, IN. A GMC Sierra pickup on the assembly line at the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant in 2019 in Roanoke, IN. Ryan Hake, General Motors

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General Motors said it will build certain 2021 light-duty full-size pickups without a fuel management module starting March 15 until the end of the model year in late summer.

The goal is to keep pickups rolling off the assembly line despite a global shortage of semiconductor chips used in the modules. But the result is those affected pickups will not achieve top fuel economy performance.

 

“Due to the global shortage of semiconductors impacting the global auto industry, we are making Active Fuel Management/Dynamic Fuel Management unavailable on certain 2021 model year full-size trucks," said Michelle Malcho, GM spokesperson, on March 15.

 

That means 2021 light-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups equipped with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine with both six-speed and eight-speed automatic transmissions will have lower fuel economy by one mile per gallon, Malcho said.

 

"By taking this measure, we are better able to meet the strong customer and dealer demand for our full-size trucks as the industry continues to rebound and strengthen," Malcho said.

 

GM builds its light-duty pickups at Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana and Silao Assembly in Mexico.

 

GM builds its heavy-duty Silverado and Sierra pickups at Flint Assembly, where the chip shortage has not had an impact.

 

"We have not had a single part outage on anything," said Eric Welter, shop chairman of UAW Local 598 representing hourly workers at Flint Assembly. "We're running three shifts, six days a week and we're hitting our production target every day." 

 

Malcho declined to say how many pickups will be affected by the absence of the module, but she said it will not have a substantial impact on GM’s U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers.

 

"We routinely monitor our fleet for compliance in the U.S. and Canada, and we balance our portfolio in a way that enables us to manage unforeseeable circumstances like this without...


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