Backlog of trucks at Oshawa plant prompting GM to buy its own vehicles to help deliver the goods

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Published February 2, 2023 at 9:38 am

A separated truck cab and bed move through an assembly line as employees work below.

General Motors is buying its own fleet of heavy-duty trucks to ensure just-in-time delivery of its vehicles to dealerships, a move sparked by supply chain problems that left the company with some 11,000 trucks stranded in Oshawa last May because rail lines couldn’t ship them fast enough.

According to GM Authority, the backlog of Chevrolet Silverado vehicles is the result of GM’s ‘build-shy’ strategy, which enabled the company to keep production lines moving despite missing parts such as microchips, which would be assembled at a later date when the chips were available.

The strategy created a backlog which the rail lines couldn’t handle. The fact that most of the trucks were heavy duty Silverados – which take up more space on box cars than light duty 1500s – only made the problem worse.

With 2023 expected to be the year GM returns to full production the automotive giant hopes having its own fleet of 400 employee-driven trucks to ship inventory will help solve the backlog problem, though it’s not known how many of the trucks will be used in Canadian plants.

The Oshawa Assembly was retooled in record time in late 2021 and is now running three shifts building both the Heavy-Duty and the redesigned Light-Duty Chevrolet Silverado.

Production, which now employs 2,600 people, will help fund the ongoing transition to electric vehicles.

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