Tuesday, 23 November 2021 21:06

GM Tells Dealers it Will Offer Heated Seats on More 2022 Vehicles After All

Written by Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country interior. 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country interior. Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press


...the hardware for the features and pay its dealers to install the chips when they’re available. There will be no cost to customers, but a trip back to the dealership with a new vehicle isn't ideal.


“Customers don’t like going to the dealership to buy cars,” Hudson said. “Why in God’s name would they be inconvenienced to add features that should have been there in the first place?


“If I’m Ford or Toyota or Chrysler, I put everything I have in trucks and SUVs right now and harp on GM’s inability to (match) my functionality.”


They’d be fools not to. Some of the affected vehicles---particularly large SUVs and pickups---are in lucrative vehicle segments where GMC, Chevy and Cadillac are leaders. Chances to snake those prize buyers away don’t come along every day. Every lost sale is particularly painful in the current market, with new cars selling above sticker price---largely because of tight supply because of parts shortages stemming from the global pandemic.


Still, GM’s making lemons out of lemonade, potentially to the tune of thousands of sales and hundreds of millions of dollars.


No chips, no cars


Computer chips are about the size of a fingernail, but you can’t build a modern car without thousands of them. Shortages born of COVID-19 have shut down auto assembly plants all over the world.


Some GM plants closed for months this year as the automaker allocated what chips it could get to the ones building its most profitable vehicles---mostly pickups and big SUVs.


No other major automaker selling vehicles in the U.S. has eliminated heated or ventilated seats or heated steering wheels, but nearly all have been affected by the chip shortage:


  • Ford parked thousands of unfinished vehicles in storage lots for weeks or months until chips became available.
  • BMW stopped offering touch screens in many vehicles.
  • Nissan dropped navigation systems from many models.
  • Mercedes lost LED lights and premium audio.
  • Toyota lost 40% of its planned global production in August and September.
  • Chrysler just laid off 300 in Indiana because it can’t get chips for automatic transmissions.


GM dropped other significant features earlier this year, including...

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