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DETROIT – General Motors will idle nearly all its assembly plants in North America starting Monday as the COVID-19 pandemic affects production of semiconductor chips overseas.

GM said its Arlington Assembly in Texas, where it makes its highly profitable full-size SUVs, will run regular production next week, along with Flint Assembly in Michigan, where it makes its heavy-duty pickups, Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky, where it makes its Corvette, and a portion of Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan, where it will make some Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac Blackwing cars.
But all other assembly plants in North America will idle starting Monday. 

“All the announcements we made today are related to the chips shortage, the only plant down that’s not related to that, is Orion Assembly,” said GM spokesman Dan Flores, referring to that plant’s shutdown over Chevy Bolt recall issues.

The industry already has been experiencing a global shortage of the chips, used in a variety of car parts, since early this year. The chips are also used in small electronics and as more workers and children stayed home from work and school last year during the pandemic, demand for personal electronics, such as laptops, rose and created a shortage of chips. 

Automakers have had to either temporarily idle production or build vehicles just shy of all the parts to await chip parts to finish production and ship the vehicles to showrooms. New-car inventory has remained tight and prices high.

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