General Motors (GM 1.23%) said today that it will extend shutdowns at three of its North American factories until at least mid-March, amid an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips. 

GM is one of several global automakers that have had to reduce production because of a shortage of computer chips. Chipmakers have scrambled to fill orders for automotive-grade silicon while coping with a surge in demand from makers of higher-end personal computers and peripherals. 

Demand for home computers, including high-end gaming computers, has risen sharply amid the pandemic.  

The affected GM factories are all assembly plants that build finished vehicles:

  • GM Fairfax Assembly, in Fairfax, Kansas, builds the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and the Cadillac XT4 crossover SUV.
  • GM's CAMI facility, in Ingersoll, Ontario, builds the Chevrolet Equinox crossover.
  • GM's San Luis Potosí Assembly plant, in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, builds the Equinox, the smaller Chevrolet Trax crossover, and the GMC Terrain SUV. 
A red Chevrolet Equinox, a compact crossover SUV.

Three of GM's North American factories will remain idled for at least four more weeks, including two plants that make the popular Chevrolet Equinox crossover. Image source: General Motors.

GM initially announced the temporary closures on Feb. 4, along with a production slowdown at a fourth factory in South Korea. At that time, it said that it would provide weekly updates; it now expects the three North American factories to remain idled for at least four more weeks.

GM did not provide an update on the South Korean plant. 

In a statement, GM reiterated that it is prioritizing the manufacture of products that are in high demand, including its full-size pickup trucks, its big truck-based SUVs, and the Corvette sports car. In addition to being in high demand, the prioritized vehicles are some of GM's most profitable product lines. 

GM will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings and provide guidance for 2021 before the market opens on Wednesday, Feb. 10.