The Urethane Blog

Chip Shortage Ending?

GM Says It’s Getting A “Better Flow” Of Semis and That All Plants In North America Are Operating Regularly

by Tyler DurdenWednesday, Nov 10, 2021 – 07:05 PM

General Motors is out on Wednesday with surprising commentary on the ongoing semiconductor shortage: namely, the auto giant says that it is seeing a “better flow” of semiconductors.

Additionally, GM says that “most of its assembly plants in North America are now back to running regular production,” according to a report by Reuters.

A spokesperson from GM said: “In fact, the week of November 1 represented the first time since February that none of our North American assembly plants were idled due to the chip shortage.”

Recall, at the end of October we asked whether or not the shortage may end early, prompted by surprising disclosures by U.S. Steel.

At the time, US Steel CEO David Burritt said toward the end of his prepared remarks on the company’s conference call that the worst may be passing. 

Discussing the demand picture heading into Q4 and the new year, Burritt said that he was “delighted to hear from multiple auto customers, who are foreshadowing that the trough of the chip shortage could be behind us. They’re beginning to add to the fourth quarter and first quarter build schedules, and indicating to us, increasing usage rates, starting as early as next week.

To us, it was surprise that former JPMorgan news aggregation maven and current publisher of VitalKnowledge Media, Adam Crisafulli, called US Steel’s observation “the most important (macro) comment from any earnings call this morning.”

It wasn’t (and still isn’t) clear what specific macro economic shift may have catalyzed this improvement: after all, West Coast port logjams are about the worst they have ever been.

Given GM’s latest statement, it is now starting to look like what we predicted in late October may have been accurate: “…if US Steel’s channel checks are accurate and automakers are indeed ramping up production, then one of the biggest supply chain bottlenecks may indeed now be behind us (even if there is still a long way to go before the bigger picture renormalizes).”