Ram 1500 Production Paused Due to Chip Shortage
As time goes on and the global microchip shortage continues, automakers must become increasingly creative to keep new vehicles rolling off factory lines. Stellantis is no stranger to chip shortage-related production issues and just this week announced temporary downtime for the factories that make some of its most popular models. As Automotive News reports, the assembly plants that build the Ram 1500 and several other models will be down for at least a week.
The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, located in Michigan and which handles Ram 1500 production, will be shuttered for one week. The plant employs over 7,000 people and typically operates on three shifts. This production shutdown at Sterling Heights is the second this year, following a pause in July, but it’s just one of many affecting Stellantis vehicle production.
The plant that builds the Jeep Cherokee—Belvidere Assembly Plant, in Belvidere, Illinois—and the facility that handles Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Voyager production—the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario—are on hold the weeks of August 30 and September 6. Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 production are also affected, as the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario is also closed this week.
Windsor has had a rough go at production in 2021 as it was, having been operating at partial capacity for some time. Production resumed with two shifts on July 5, after having been idled almost completely since late March.
Stellantis joins several other automakers having difficulties maintaining a constant vehicle production cadence. Ford Motor Co. has reduced its production capacity at several facilities and will temporarily close others. General Motors has paused production at times and has adopted a strategy of cutting features from some of its most popular models to keep factory lines rolling. Last week, a letter from Honda to its dealers surfaced that forecasted new-vehicle supply cuts of up to 40 percent for some models.
Estimates from analysts at AutoForecast Solutions peg the year-to-date production impact of the microchip shortage at 2.1 million units in North America alone. The firm’s analysis shows that automakers have cut almost seven million units from global production plans, which could expand to over eight million before the shortage subsides.
With popular models from Stellantis and others seeing supply cuts, a resolution can’t come soon enough. The Ram 1500, in particular, is a foundational model for the automaker, having sold hundreds of thousands of units each of the last several years.
Automotive News is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on August 30, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.