GM Pickup Production Slows at Indiana Plant

2014-GMC-Sierra frnt II

The GM assembly plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., that produces 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra half-ton regular- and double-cab pickup trucks has cut its daily production rates to accommodate a supplier issue.

According to Automotive News, not enough axle shafts are being produced at the American Axle & Manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico. The Fort Wayne plant, according to reports, is down as many as 200 pickups per day because there aren’t enough axle shafts for the new pickups.

The production situation is complicated by the fact that GM has several new full-size SUVs, built off the same new platforms as the pickup trucks, that need the same axles; they are just now coming online. Additionally, early ordering of the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8 in the regular- and double-cab pickups has been higher than expected, forcing GM to make difficult decisions regarding where the existing axles should be directed.

The last of the three plants that will produce the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500s (in Flint, Mich.) is scheduled to start production in the next month. 

2014 GMC Sierra AAM axle II



Is GM still using those flimsy plastic clips to hold the brake lines in place?

Made in Mexico ! It would be nice to have a American truck 100% Made in the good old U.S.A .
It would be nice to know what % of a truck is made in America before you buy it .

Made in Mexico ! It would be nice to have a American truck 100% Made in the good old U.S.A .
It would be nice to know what % of a truck is made in America before you buy it .

-Just look at the parts content on the window sheet. Ford and Toyota have the highest US parts content and are both made right here in the USA. PUTC had an article on this awhile back. Chevrolet the so called Americas Truck-Heartbeat of America was the worst.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Production.

A particular vehicles American parts content really doesn't tell you anything about the entire company. For instance, GM as a company buys more American made parts then Toyota, Honda and Nissan combined.

Ike G.
Some things are just out of your control. Believe me, I'm a project manager, I can have my entire project designed, everything lined up and in order. One supplier, even customer himself, can disrupt everything to the point where you will go grey in one week.

Fortunately for all parties, the supply bottleneck seems to dovetail beautifully with the lack of demand for the truck itself. It should also help GM avoid 170-day supplies from accumulating on dealer lots and eventually costing the whole industry needless hundreds of millions when the time comes to need to blow out the overstock.

"Is GM still using those flimsy plastic clips to hold the brake lines in place?"

Posted by: Jordan L | Oct 27, 2013 9:57:38 AM

Call me cynical but I have been repairing vehicle's since the early 80s and have seen the trends from manufactures.

The sad truth is that over engineering a Car or Truck these days is long over. The bean counters at GM and the rest only build vehicles strong enough to get them out of warranty then its all yours. $$$

Gregory J., I spent four years in the USAF and then 20 years in the FAA before retiring to my Cherokee roots and ranching in Oklahoma.

What you say is true, of course. But if the Aviation industry adhered to the same standards as America's auto industry, we'd be in deep ka-ka, and would have planes falling out of the sky on a regular basis.

The old carpenter's saying of "measure twice, cut once" is also useful if the principle is applied to the 7Ps.

For ANY automaker to put all their eggs in one basket and rely solely on one supplier is suicidal.

As history has shown us time and time again, suppliers will try to economize, cut corners, overlook processes, bypass specifications, all in the name of saving a few bucks.

This can truly cause any project manager to turn gray prematurely. The fix is to plan to not allow this to happen.

Sent from my iPad.

Maybe if GM was not so set on only producing crewcabs they could have gotten some double cabs and regular cabs into the mix from the start. This is also part of planning. I never understood the 5.3L CrewCab only strategy.

@jason.... because over 70% of gm trucks sold are crew cabs... pretty smart strategy if you ask me...

Not when the supply of crewcabs hits 170 days up from the normal 90.

According to GM, Crew Cabs only 60% of sales....and the 5.3 crew cab would be less than the 60%. So they are leaving over 40% of the business on the table by doing crewcab 5.3 only...

Don Johnson, VP of sales and service for Chevrolet, stated that dealers had a good supply of crew-cab pickups, which usually amount to 60% of sales. On the other hand, Kurt McNeil, VP of sales for the U.S., stated that dealers were still "building" stock of the cheaper regular cab and double cab models.

What's going on here?
It's clear that there are some supply constraints affecting sales of the 2014 Chevy Silverado (and to a lesser extent, the GMC Sierra). However, if supply constraints were the only factor holding back sales, GM executives would probably have said so.

Silverados are "selling very poorly" at Dimmitt Chevrolet in Clearwater, Fla., General Manager Sam Pilato says. The dealership, which typically sells 10 to 25 of the full-sized pickups a month, didn't notch its first Silverado sale this month until Oct. 16.

W. Carroll Smith, president of Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena, Texas, says his supply of Silverado crew cabs hit 170 days, up from the normal 110, amid a dearth of buyers.

After seeing lasts months pickup sales by all of the manufacturers, it appears pickups are flat lining in sales.

Chev did drop numbers though. I predict this month will be worse after watching the circus in Washington.

November sales will be the tell tale. We have discussed the recent increase in pickup sales.

Considering the smallish improvement in the US economy how many more trucks can be sold.

Where the vehicle parts come from has little to do with much. The US exports car parts to Australia.

Are those parts any $hittier than Australian parts?

Really, all parts are manufactured to a standard, irrespective of what country they come from.

I rather have the rear axel made in Mexico where American workers go to work, Then Ford rear axels Made In INDIA.

If more GM truck buyers knew they were Hecho en Mexico, especially after the GM bail out (which was sold on saving US jobs), sales would tank even further. Most can't believe it when I have to tell them the Tundra is more "American" (built). Then GM steps on its D!ck by not having the parts staged.

@truckguy, I had no idea Mexico was park of the United States . you learn something new every Day.
I am still pissed that the chevy and Gmc is not 100% American. Next you will be telling me Harley Davidson is not pure American . Talk about a bad day.

Maybe if "American Axle" did not refuse to pay fair wages to their employees in America, and shut down operations there, they would be better able to meet the supply requirements.

I'm not against GM, but it isn't looking good for them. I wonder if they will go under again, since they didn't learn a thing from the first time they went under.

Fred hit the nail on the head...."axle shafts" are a great excuse to halt production on these trucks with nearly frozen sales numbers.

Big Dog...I was just thinking the same thing...this could spell another financial disaster.

Well, at least there is one thing consistent about the Chevy haters. They're always wrong.....

Is Chevy STILL using the 10-bolt under their half-tons? Garbage. The G80 explodes and takes the R&P with it. It's what happened to mine anyhow.

(Not a Chevy Hater...I drive a Chevy...Put a 6.0 Liter in my Heep.)

Truckguy... Ford trucks either get the Dana axles or they get Sterling, which is made in at the Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, MI. I didn't know Michigan was now in India...

@DaffyDuck - Harley is 65% "American" depending on the model.

Is GM still using those flimsy plastic clips to hold the brake lines in place?

Posted by: Jordan L | Oct 27, 2013 9:57:38 AM

That's professional grade!

Since it hasn't been posted yet:






My Ford has never broken down, not even a single time. That is because Ford doesn't use cheap plastic parts in their pickups. For GM Professional Grade = Need a Professional mechanic and pay Profession repair prices.

@ rancherogt and Hemi v8. Chrysler used to use clips like that to hold air intake tubes onto thier counter parts in the 90's. They were junk then and Chrysler eventually saw the light and stopped using them. They are used because they are cheap cheap cheap. Just need to squeeze them tight till they latch and your done. But they are not fastened to the axle housing so the whole assembly is free to twist, sort of defeats the purpose. Its disappointing to see. I wonder if they are still putting control modules under the truck instaed of safe in the engine compartment or interior.

This isn't the first time GMC has been affected by American Axle.
Remember the American Axle strike?
American Axle wanted wage concessions or they would close USA factories and set up shop elsewhere.

They have 4 plants in the USA, and 1 in Mexico. They also have plants in Asia and Europe.

I found this interesting article post 2008 American Axle strike:

"At the same time, however, the new contract puts pressure on American Axle to get competitive. As analyst Cole noted to the local press the new contract brings unionized suppliers nearly on par with non-union ones. "Now there are no excuses," he said. "Labor cost is not a reason to be uncompetitive."

I always thought that not being able to supply a product in timely fashion was also a sign of being uncompetitive.

Looks like GMC looses once again.

This one is interesting and shows how the UAW mismanaged the strike.

Common sense. They slow production of a truck that isn't selling as well as they hoped, so they can use the parts for other vehicles that will sell well. There's nothing wrong with that. To bad they couldn't be honest and say that though.

Is Chevy STILL using the 10-bolt under their half-tons? Garbage. The G80 explodes and takes the R&P with it. It's what happened to mine anyhow.

(Not a Chevy Hater...I drive a Chevy...Put a 6.0 Liter in my Heep.)

10 bolt rear ends on the V6 trucks, then the smaller 14 bolt on the V8 trucks.

I couldn't find whether or not they are slowing production in the Mexican truck plants. They were the first to produce and ship the new GM truck models. Just wondering if they were scaled back too, or if they are only slowing the lower producing American plant.

Never mind, I found it. GM decided to push back the rollout of the new SUVs, and told the Mexican axle supplier to shift their priority to producing the old axles for the current model SUVs. So instead of being more productive building one new style axle as planned, GM shifted priority to the old axle, making the productivity suffer and slow production of the new axles for the trucks. The odd part is they say they could be selling more trucks if they could build more regular and extended cabs instead of all the crew cabs overflowing the lots. Yet they kept production of the crew cabs (all built in Mexico) to full production and cut production of the models built in the US (again, the models they say are in highest demand). And they have yet another US plant that was supposed to be in production already but they haven't started building any yet. If I was a dealer, or a UAW member, I would be steaming mad.

I noticed my local dealer sold a few new GMC's right off the line, but after that they have a lot full of them and never seem to move any of them.

This is why GM has less recalls then Ram or Ford. I would rather wait for my new truck and have it right instead of returning to the dealership for numerous recalls.

@greg, this has nothing to do with a quality issue. It's about supplying axles to build the old model SUVs to pack the lots with the old version before switching over to the new version. since they are still building those old axles, they can't ramp up production of the new axles for the trucks. This is being managed by GM, and is why the axle plant was quoted saying "We are meeting GM's production requirements". This slowdown in truck axles in per GM not the axle plant.







Ford doesn't use cheep plastic? I take it you have never sat in one then. They have more cheep plastic then any other major manufacture.

Typical ford guy, talks more from his a$$ then from experience.














@greg - guys like you are the reason why GMC keeps pulling the same old sh!t over and over again. They expect lemmings like you to line up at what ever cliff they create.
GMC needs to smarten up or we will head towards bailout #2 but this time the USA government won't be able to borrow more Chinese money to pay for it.






@Moderator - "don't sweat the petty things" or is that "don't pet the sweaty things"?

@LouBC, correct. Chevrolet (and GMC) are so lost when it comes to trucks it's not even funny anymore. From body designs to interior designs to suspension designs to build quality. What the hell happened I don't know but I can say this, Chevy used to have the best trucks in the industry bar none up until the late 80's. Light and Heavy duty both. The 89 through 99 models were fantastic minus the lack of a sfa on the 2500 and up trucks. Dumb move there. After 99 it was pretty much over. They either became super cheap, hired the wrong people or a combination of both.

American Axle is not to blame here. As usual, it's GM/GMC. Those initials are like bad karma.

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