WAITING FOR CHIPS

Trucks are offloaded to be stored in the north lot of the General Motors Components Holding along Boulevard Street. The trucks are being assembled without some of the needed semiconductor chips due to the ongoing shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. General Motors announced in May that the Kokomo pant will be used as temporary storage for vehicles in need of the chips before eventually being shipped to dealerships.

Vehicles started arriving last week at the large parking area at the General Motors Components Holdings facility, which now serves as storage for vehicles that have been produced but are waiting for a microchip until shipping out to dealerships.

Stephanie Mack, GM’s plant communications manager, said in May the Kokomo site is one of many where the company is storing vehicles built without certain modules that are waiting for the supply of semiconductors to improve.

The company erected a fence around the parking lot in May on East Boulevard to park the vehicles, and other lots around the site will also serve as storage, according to a memo sent to employees.

The memo said the areas will have restricted access and will be supported by a GM corporate transportation contractor. The main employee parking lot has been condensed to support the undertaking.

All the vehicles are being stored as part of the fallout from the global semiconductor chip shortage. Auto companies are now manufacturing vehicles without the chip and storing them offsite to build up inventory for when the chip shortage eases.

Mack said that GM has made strides working with its supply base to mitigate the near-term impacts of the semiconductor situation.

“GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” she said in an email. “However, the semiconductor situation continues to remain fluid globally.”

Mack said that for competitive reasons, the company won’t disclose the numbers of vehicles it will store at the Kokomo plant.

Local car dealerships have said that in many instances, those vehicles are already sold to customers and will be available to pick up once they are installed with modules containing the microchip.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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