To reduce the number of chips needed in some of its pickup trucks and larger SUVs, GM will manufacture them without automatic stop-start technology.
As compensation for selling vehicles that don't have all of the officially listed features, GM is knocking $50 off the MSRP.
The latest victim of the silicon chip shortage affecting automotive production around the world is the automatic stop-start feature in large General Motors vehicles. The list of affected vehicles includes all of GM's full-size SUVs, including Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs, plus the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, that were built on or after June 7, 2021. The affected models have the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s that are paired with GM's 10-speed automatic transmission, not the diesel powertrains that are available in those vehicles.
When stop-start is active, the engine turns off when the driver comes to a complete stop (under certain circumstances) and then turns back on almost instantly when they take their foot off the brake. It's not a huge surprise that automatic stop-start is a feature GM is wiling to let go. It's most certainly not the most popular fuel-saving trick a vehicle can do, and videos and tips online explaining how to deactivate it are easy to find online. On some vehicles, this can be done simply by pushing a button. On others, it's a more involved process, but no matter what, people will help strangers figure out how to turn it off.
By eliminating the start-stop feature in its large SUVs and thereby reducing the number of chips each SUV needs, GM is giving itself the chance to keep building vehicles, GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly said in a statement.
"By taking this measure, it will enable us to continue production of our high-demand full-size SUV and pickups as the industry continues to rebound and strengthen," Kelly said. Last week, GM announced it would increase deliveries of high-demand products, including the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.
In the statement, Kelly explained: "Our supply chain organization continues to make strides working with our supply base to mitigate the near-term impacts of the semiconductor situation. GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including our highly profitable full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers. However, the semiconductor situation continues to remain fluid globally."
Without automatic stop-start technology, GM's large SUVs will, unsurprisingly, get worse fuel economy than versions with stop-start. To compensate for this deficiency, GM will take $50 off the price of affected vehicles' MSRP.
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