Thousands of Chevrolet Silverado trucks awaiting rail transport, are currently parked in vacant lots near General Motors’ recently re-opened assembly plant in Oshawa. Ont, according to a union official.
GM began production of the Chevrolet Silverado HD full-size pickup at the Oshawa plant last December following a $1.3 billion investment in the 465,000-square-metre facility. The chip shortage has forced the automaker to employ what the industry calls a build-shy strategy, in which trucks roll off the assembly line missing certain electronic features. The trucks are then brought back into the plant to be finished once the required missing parts are received.
While this strategy enabled GM Canada to keep the Oshawa plant running on a two-shift rotation amid the chip shortage, it has created a backlog of about 11,000 Chevy Silverado HD trucks that are awaiting shipment, said Jason Gale, chairperson of Unifor Local 222, the union chapter that represents workers at the Ontario plant.
“They were parking vehicles awaiting their modules or semiconductors to be installed and shipped out. Well, they’re at that point now where they are getting caught up, but there’s not enough rails to keep up,” Gale told Automotive News Canada April 27. “We’re around 11,000 out there, give or take a couple. I know the number’s dropping, but it’s not going to drop by a thousand or a couple thousand in a week. But I know it’s getting reduced.”