KANSAS CITY, Mo. — General Motors restarted production of the Cadillac XT4 on Monday at the Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, after being idle for more than seven months.
Some employees returned to the automotive manufacturing plant last week to get the stamping, body shop and paint departments ready for return to production.
GM anticipates resuming production of the Chevrolet Malibu on Nov. 1 at Fairfax, according to Fairfax Communications Manager Brian Harvey.
Only the first-shift production employees returned to work for now.
The plant initially went idle on Feb. 8.
Fairfax Plant Executive Director Steve Notar Donato noted in a letter to United Auto Workers Local 31, which represents employees at the plant, that “Fairfax has an excellent reputation with General Motors and there is demand for our vehicles.”
He said a shortage of semiconductor chips, which impacts electric vehicles more than those with combustion engines, is to blame for the idle production lines.
“As the chips become available, I look forward to working with you to build more of these great vehicles for our customers.” Notar Donato wrote in the letter.
COVID-19 shutdowns, the winter storm that paralyzed Texas and a fire at a Japanese plant all disrupted chip production and exacerbated an already tight semiconductor supply chain.
New factories are being built to address the shortage, but until they open experts anticipate the chip shortage to remain a problem well into 2022.
Notar Donato added that “the on-going semiconductor chip shortage and global supply chain disruptions mean that we may be forced to adjust the plan.”