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Why Thousands of Chevy Silverado HD Trucks Are Gathering Dust in Vacant Lots in Ontario

Microchip shortages have wreaked havoc across the auto industry, causing production disruptions and delivery delays. Many carmakers have decided to continue building vehicles even without the precious chips and install them later, as they become available. This has led to a storage problem and thousands of vehicles started piling up on various parking lots around assembly plants.
Chevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in Ontario 11 photos
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HDChevrolet Silverado 2500 HDChevrolet Silverado 2500 HDChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in OntarioChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in OntarioChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in OntarioChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in OntarioChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in OntarioChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in OntarioChevrolet Silverado HD being built at the GM Oshawa plant in Ontario
The stockpiling of new vehicles became a regular sighting around assembly plants in the U.S. and beyond and we’ve been covering this before. Being in such demand, the Ford Bronco has seen the most attention, but other carmakers are pretty much in the same boat. GM, for instance, although less affected by the chip problems, has its own backlog of incompletely built vehicles awaiting the missing chips. Even when the chips arrive, the problem is far from solved.

Around the GM Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario (Canada), thousands of Chevrolet Silverado HD are gathering dust in parking lots for less obvious reasons. The trucks have been finished already and are ready to be shipped to dealer lots across North America. But the rail transport system simply cannot move them fast enough, according to a report by Automotive News Canada.

Just like Ford and other carmakers, GM has decided to build its vehicles without some microchip parts just to keep the production going. GM even has coined a term for this practice: build-shy, as in “shy of all its parts.” While waiting for the microchips and other electronic components, the almost-finished vehicles are parked in the vicinity of the assembly plant. Once completed, they are shipped to dealer lots. This practice has enabled GM to keep its production lines alive even during the worst of microchip shortages.

Although the chip supply has improved in the past months, the Silverado HD trucks keep gathering dust around the Oshawa plant in Ontario. The HD trucks are significantly larger than the Silverado 1500, which means they take up more space on the train cars. So fewer can be moved using the existing infrastructure. Although the backlog is reducing, the progress is rather slow.

There are around 11,000 Chevy Silverado HD awaiting shipment at the Oshawa plant, according to 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. “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.”

GM has begun Chevrolet Silverado HD production at the Oshawa plant in December 2021 following a $1.3-billion investment. At the moment, the plant is operating in a two-shift rotation and is expected to introduce a third shift in August.

 
 
 
 
 

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