Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

General Motors Co. said on Monday that due to the global semiconductor chip shortage the U.S. automaker is building certain 2021 light-duty full-size pickup trucks without a fuel management module, hurting those vehicles’ fuel economy performance.

The lack of the active fuel management/dynamic fuel management module means affected models, equipped with the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine with both six-speed and eight-speed automatic transmission, will have lower fuel economy by one mile per gallon, spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said.

Malcho emphasized all trucks are still being built, something GM has repeatedly stressed it would try to protect as pickups are among GM’s most profitable models. She declined to say the volume of vehicles affected.

Story continues below advertisement

“By taking this measure, we are better able to meet the strong customer and dealer demand for our full-size trucks as the industry continues to rebound and strengthen,” Malcho wrote in an email.

The change runs through the 2021 model year, which typically ends in late summer or early fall, she said.

Malcho said it would not have a major impact on the Detroit automaker’s U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) numbers.

“We routinely monitor our fleet for compliance in the U.S. and Canada, and we balance our portfolio in a way that enables us to manage unforeseeable circumstances like this without compromising our overall (greenhouse gas) and fuel economy compliance,” she said.

GM’s fleetwide fuel economy in the 2018 model year was 22.5 miles per gallon and was projected to rise to 22.8 mpg for 2019, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency.

To meet federal CAFE requirements, automakers like GM often use credits from either earlier years where they faced less stringent rules and performed better than the requirements or buy credits from other automakers.

GM said last month the chip shortage could shave up to $2 billion from this year’s earnings. It subsequently said it expected global chip supplies to return to normal rates by the second half of the year.

Story continues below advertisement

GM’s U.S. rival Ford Motor Co previously said the shortage could hurt 2021 profits by up to $2.5 billion and said it had curtailed production of its flagship F-150 pickup.

The shortage, which has hit automakers globally, stems from a confluence of factors as carmakers, which shut plants for two months during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, compete with the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip supplies.

Also on Monday, BMW Chief Technology Officer Frank Weber said things will be tough in the short term.

“We hope that this situation is going to improve as we get closer to summer,” he told reporters. “But April and May we expect will be very tough. Predictions, I cannot make because really we are working from week to week. So far we have been very successful and we have not lost a single day in production.”

GM shares were down 2 per cent in midday trading.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies