Daniel DiManna
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GM’s SUV Production Still on Track Despite COVID-19

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GM’s SUV production
GM will focus on SUV production for the remainder of 2020
Photo: General Motors

The first quarter of 2020 has certainly been a difficult time for the auto industry. With the coronavirus pandemic causing plant shutdowns, production delays, and a decrease in sales over the last few months, many companies are struggling amid the crisis. One of these companies is GM, whose 2020 plans have been significantly derailed. However, even though the current situation has yet to pass, there is a silver lining: despite taking a hit during 2020’s first quarter, GM’s SUV production is still on track.


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Why GM’s SUV production is continuing

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, automakers have found themselves in an unusual situation. Priorities must now be placed on producing vehicles that will yield the most profit in the immediate future. Most vehicles deemed less significant to recouping money lost during this pandemic have been delayed until late 2020 or moved to 2021. For General Motors, the launch of its newly redesigned large SUVs was a priority before COVID-19. Now that plants around the world are beginning to reopen, those redesigned SUVs are more crucial than ever.

For this reason, GM has chosen to focus its new production efforts almost entirely on these SUVs. “Automakers are going to be prioritizing bigger launches and higher-profit programs,” said industry analyst Paul Waatti. This focus on SUVs is made possible by updates made to the recently reopened Arlington, Texas, GM plant where the vehicles are to be built. Less-profitable models that were to have received updates this year, including the Chevrolet Traverse, Equinox, Bolt EV, and the GMC Terrain crossovers, have now been delayed until the 2022 model year.  


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Among the full-size SUVs being assembled at Arlington are the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade. The Chevrolet models are expected to start showing up in dealer showrooms across the country over the next few months. Stay tuned for more news on GM’s future plans as the situation continues to evolve.