General Motors has big plans for 2022, even as the Covid pandemic, supply chain issues and economic uncertainty lingers.
The company will build 25% to 30% more vehicles this year than it did in 2021, according to Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra. The auto manufacturer shared the news in a call with analysts, according to the Detroit Free Press.
That is a bold promise for an industry that has struggled to get cars off of manufacturing lines. The ongoing semiconductor chip shortage has slowed production at GM, Ford, Stellantis and other major auto manufacturers. Last year, GM was reportedly parking 1,000 partly constructed vehicles per day in a lot built to hold cars waiting for parts.
Ford’s leadership acknowledged as recently as the first quarter of this year that the semiconductor shortage was still taking a bite out of its production.
Barra said during the call that the company is seeing improvements in chip supply.
“There is still volatility in chips and we continue to work on it on a daily basis," Barra said. "We’ve seen an improvement in the first quarter over the fourth quarter. We think there’ll be a strong chip supply in the second half of the year. We’re working deeper into the supply chain … to control our own destiny."
GM reported a dip in earnings during the first three months of the year, compared to the same stretch last year. Barra said in a quarterly letter to shareholders that the company will “rise to meet challenges” posed by the supply chain and continue to shift its focus to electric vehicles.
“Launching more EVs faster is the catalyst for growth, and we are accelerating our volumes, growing to 1 million units of EV capacity in North America by the end of 2025, and expanding from there,” Barra continued. “In North America alone, we target production of 400,000 all-electric vehicles over the course of 2022 and 2023.”
GM Recalls, Safety Issues
At the same time, GM and its competitors continue to put vehicles on the road that are not safe to drive.
Last year, for example, GM recalled roughly 15,000 vehicles because of a fuel pump defect. It said the problem could cause cars to stall unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a crash. The company more recently called back some 95,000 sport utility vehicles, citing a defect that could cause their seatbelts to become inoperable.
The good news for GM and other car owners in California is that you have some valuable rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. The law requires car manufacturers to perform a wide variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the companies to buy back (or replace, in some cases) cars that they cannot or refuse to fix.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.