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EXCLUSIVE-GM hit by chip shortage, to cut production at four plants

DETROIT, Feb 3 (Reuters) - General Motors Co became the latest automaker hit by the global shortage of semiconductor chips as the U.S. automaker said on Wednesday it will take down production next week at four assembly plants.

GM said it will take down production entirely during the week of Feb. 8 at plants in Fairfax, Kansas; Ingersoll, Ontario; and San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It will also run its Bupyeong 2 plant in South Korea at half capacity that week.

GM did not disclose how much volume it would lose or which supplier was affected by the chip shortage, but said the focus has been on keeping production running at plants building the highest-profit vehicles - full-size pickup trucks and SUVs as well as the Chevrolet Corvette sports car. GM said it intends to make up as much lost production as possible.

“Despite our mitigation efforts, the semiconductor shortage will impact GM production in 2021,” GM spokesman David Barnas told Reuters in a statement.

“Semiconductor supply for the global auto industry remains very fluid,” he added. “Our supply chain organization is working closely with our supply base to find solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate impacts on GM.”

Affected GM vehicles include the Chevrolet Malibu sedan, Cadillac XT4 SUV, Chevy Equinox and Trax, and GMC Terrain SUVs and the Buick Encore small crossover vehicle.

The chip shortage has led several automakers, including Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co, Subaru Corp , Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Stellantis NV, to cut vehicle production.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit Editing by Matthew Lewis

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