Semiconductor Industry Updates

Written By: Merchants Fleet

This page was last updated on July 23, 2021 at 12:03 p.m.

Today’s market is experiencing a variety of factors that have added up to create a “perfect storm” of vehicle acquisitions challenges. Most notably has been the semiconductor shortage, which is dominating supply chain headlines. Several OEMs have announced production cutbacks this year, causing sudden shifts in buildout dates and closures of order banks. Unfortunately, the semiconductor shortage is not a problem with a short-term fix, so we expect these supply impacts to be ongoing. We encourage fleets to be proactive, flexible, and responsive in managing their vehicle acquisitions strategy, and we are here to assist you in those efforts.

To better help you track these ongoing shifts in supply and build out dates, we will be updating this page regularly with the latest semiconductor and supply chain updates. You can also track order and build out date changes here.

Latest Updates

July 23, 2021

OEMs 

  • Mercedes-Benz is opening order banks for the MY22 Metris and Sprinter in mid-August, with production expected to begin by the end of 2021.
  • The final order due date for the Ford Escape is next Friday, July 30.
  • GM is cutting truck production at the Flint [Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Sierra HD], Ft. Wayne [Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500], and Silao, Mexico [Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Cheyenne and GMC Sierra 1500] plants through August 2nd.
  • According to AutoForecastSolutions [AFS], global automakers have announced microchip shortage production cuts totaling 5.16 million vehicles, and the projected loss is currently at 6.3 million.
  • Merchants recommendations: With some OEMs requiring allocation approvals early in the ordering process, Merchants is able to assist in recommending replacement projections based on a number of data points. Additionally, the Replacement Projection Report within TotalView is available for clients to pull a detailed report to project replacements over the next 24 months based on vehicle segment and cycling criteria.

July 16, 2021

OEMs 

  • Effective immediately, all fleet orders for the following 2022 model year are cutoff immediately. No further fleet orders can be accepted.
    • 2022 MY Buick Encore and Encore GX (all models)
    • 2022 MY Chevrolet Low Cab Forward Diesel 4500 and 5500
  • Ford has begun to ship completed F150s that were previously being held due to chip shortages.
  • Merchants recommendations: TotalView features allow users to easily compare vehicle selectors with one another. Within the Acquisitions tab, you can compare up to 7 vehicles with the capability to add similar vehicles with one click. This is helpful if a vehicle’s model year is cut off and you need to determine an alternative vehicle to order. Additionally, you can easily select display differences to only showcase the different specs between the selected vehicles you are comparing.

July 2, 2021

  • Ford is conducting the following plant shutdowns and schedule changes to prioritize building vehicles that were assembled without certain parts and support their commitment to get customers vehicles as soon as possible. They continue to manufacture new vehicles.
    • Chicago Assembly Plant [Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, Lincoln Aviator] will be down the weeks of July 5, 12, 19 and 26 and will run two shifts the week of Aug. 2
    • Dearborn Truck Plant [Ford F-150 & F-150 Raptor] will run two crews the weeks of July 12, 19 and 26
    • Flat Rock Assembly Plant [Mustang] will be down the weeks of July 12 and 19
    • Hermosillo Assembly Plant [Bronco Sport] will run one of two shifts the weeks of July 12 and 19
    • Kansas City Assembly Plant F-150 line will be down the weeks of July 12 and 19, while the KCAP Transit line will be down the week of July 19
    • Kentucky Truck Plant [Ford F-250 – F-550 Super Duty Trucks, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator] will be down the week of July 12 and run two shifts the weeks of July 19, 26 and Aug. 2
    • Louisville Assembly Plant [Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair] will run on a reduced schedule the week of July 19
    • Oakville Assembly Complex will produce Nautilus only the weeks of July 19, 26 and Aug. 2
    • Michigan Assembly Plant [Ford Bronco & Ford Ranger] will be down the weeks of July 5 and 26 due to an unrelated part shortage
  • VW
    • MY21 order banks are closed for GTI, Tiguan, Passat, Atlas & Atlas Cross Sport
    • MY21 Jetta & Arteon order banks will close on 7/5/21
    • Production on all MY21 carlines continues to be delayed due to the global microchip shortage.  Please expect delays, with order to delivery times of possibly 150+ days.
    • MY22 dealer ordering is not yet open. However, you can submit orders to Merchants via a CSV file for Taos, Tiguan, Passat, Atlas & Atlas Cross Sport.
    • Fleet ordering is now available in limited quantities for MY21 ID.4 RWD models!
  • Merchants recommendations:
    • As orders start to be delivered, you’ll want the replacement vehicles ready to be swapped immediately. For a quick and stress-free process to get proceeds quickly and take advantage of the strong market, utilize Merchants GuaranteeBUY program. It is a fast turnaround with ability to receive payment in less than one business week.
    • We encourage clients to work in concert with their OEM representatives and Merchants team members on their orders, as certain makes and models may require prior allocation approval.

June 23, 2021

  • Toyota will be requiring clients to obtain approval prior to placing orders each month. This means you will need to get pre-approval from your Toyota Account Rep before Merchants is able to place your orders.Clients can start the process online to request a Toyota CID # if they do not have one with Toyota Customer Enrollment. Eligibility requirements are below as pulled from the Toyota website for information purposes only:
    • The fleet account will utilize the vehicle within the continental US and Alaska primarily in support of the company’s business and not for personal use, for a minimum of 12 months or the vehicle has accumulated at least 12,000 miles.
    • The fleet account will register the vehicle in the name of the company, not to, or in care of, an individual.
    • The fleet account is not an automobile dealer or broker and does not purchase vehicles primarily for resale.
    • The fleet account agrees to provide Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., (TMS), or the selling dealer, promptly upon request, documentation which shows that vehicles purchased under the Toyota Fleet program were registered to an authorized fleet company and kept in service as specified above, and if so requested, to provide access to our records for audit purposes.
  • A friendly reminder that clients need pre-approval and allocation codes from GM to place orders through Merchants as not all vehicles are available to all fleets. Clients must work with their GM Account Executive to obtain proper pre-approval and validate they were given allocation. All allocated products will not open until August 12th at the earliest. Please note that 1500 (DT), 2500 (DJ), 3500 (D2/DD/DF), & 4500/5500 (DP) order banks are now open:
    • Colorado/Canyon
    • Express/Savana
    • Silverado/Sierra LD Regular Cab
    • Silverado/Sierra LD Double Cab
    • Silverado/Sierra LD Crew Cab
    • Silverado/Sierra HD Regular Cab
    • Silverado/Sierra HD Double Cab
    • Silverado/Sierra HD Crew Cab

June 21, 2021

OEMs

  • Nissan will be shutting down their plant for 4 weeks where the Murano, Maxima, and Leaf are built in Smyrna, TN. This is on top of the two-week shutdown that was already announced.
    • Merchants recommendation: Clients with these vehicles in their fleet should reach out to their Merchants representative to request a future replacement analysis. The expectation is that these plant slowdowns may shorten the window for orders and we recommend pulling forward near-term future orders to ensure timely replacement.
  • Ram 1500 (DT), 2500 (DJ), 3500 (D2/DD/DF), & 4500/5500 (DP) order banks are now open.
    • Merchants recommendation: Because of the limitations that occurred with the fulfillment of Model Year 2021 light duty pickups, we expect demand for model year 2022 to be very robust. We encourage clients needing to place orders to do so as soon as possible to beat the flood of expected orders from other clients looking to ensure delivery of a model year 2022 pickup.

June 9, 2021

  • GM announced they have removed the start / stop feature from some of their full size trucks and SUVs due to the microchip shortage. Models include Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Escalade, Silverado, and Sierra. This allows these models to continue production.
    Industry News
  • According to Automotive News, only 49,000 vehicles were taken out of production this past week. This is a smaller rate of increase in vehicles that will not be built for 2021MY than in previous weeks.
  • Based on the latest information, we recommend that when evaluating vehicle selections, in addition to total cost of ownership assessment of capital and operating expenses, perform a feature comparison. Feature comparison importance will be fleet-specific; however broad features to consider would be payload dimensions, payload capacity, safety features, and production / lead times. This will provide a comprehensive view of all vehicle features that may elevate one vehicle selection over another beyond cost.

June 4, 2021

  • Toyota has closed ordering for the Tundra & RAV4. This took effect June 3; the date was pulled ahead by a month.
  • Due to overwhelming demand, Stellantis has pulled ahead cut off, effective Thursday, June 17, 2021, for the following models:
    • Chrysler 300 (LX)
    • Dodge Charger and Dodge Charger Police (LD)
    • Dodge Challenger (LA)

June 1, 2021

Below are the latest highlights from this past week from our suppliers. In addition to microchip shortages, the industry is experiencing far-reaching impacts from shortages of raw materials, natural gas, rubber, foam, shipping containers, and drivers. Many suppliers are also struggling to hire skilled employees at fair wages to produce quality products.

OEMs

  • OEMs have indicated they are working on 2022MY incentive plans for clients and getting incentives out as soon as they can.  Clients should expect decreases in incentives.
  • Freightliner has been experiencing unprecedented price increases from their suppliers of steel, aluminum, and precious metals. With more increases expected throughout the remainder of the 2022 model year, Freightliner is faced with addressing this situation as transparently as possible. There will be new mid-year price changes effective immediately with orders received starting 06/07/21 or for orders built 08/14/21 or later based on production schedule availability. [Note: Existing orders scheduled after 08/07/21 will be price protected at the PRL-8G7 price level.]
  • Ford and GM have suspended all pool programs until further notice.

Upfitters

  • Moving into the later half of 2021 and moving into 2022, be prepared to see upfit prices increase by double digits. Reasons stated by upfitters are labor shortages, wage wars, steel prices doubling, freight cost tripling due to container shortages, and port congestion.  As you plan for the next ordering cycle, please keep these double digit price increases in mind for budget purposes.
  • Because of price increases, many upfitters are reverting back to honoring quotes for 30 days only. This technically is industry standard – most quotes indicate “good for 30 days”.  The majority of the larger upfitters have announced they will be enforcing the “good for 30 days” policy going forward.

Dealerships

  • Inventory is low.  Clients requesting stocks need to expect delays, and they need to be flexible in their vehicle options as an exact match may not be available.  Dealers are also not willing to negotiate and are not recognizing fleet incentives right now.  All stock orders need to be acted on with extreme urgency.

Telematics / Connected Vehicles

  • Inventory of telematics devices remains low.  For “plug and play” devices, make sure to unplug and remove devices before remarketing or disposing of vehicles. These devices can then be transferred to another vehicle if needed. For professionally installed devices, work with your fleet management provider to schedule deinstall.

May 24, 2021

  • Ford has changed the 2021 Ford F150 build out to May 28. Ford has been building the F150s without certain parts, like the semiconductor, and storing them until the remaining parts are available. The delay for the F150 has extended to roughly 12 additional weeks.

May 18, 2021

Below are the latest OEM incentive and buildout updates. OEMs have also issued a friendly reminder that changes to orders are discouraged as they are highly disruptive to their planning and adds confusion to an already challenging market environment.  Fleets are also reminded that if they decide to cancel orders due to wait times, going out of stock may not be a viable alternative due to low dealership inventory.

Ford

  • Ford has announced new build out dates for the models listed below. Fleets should note that it is not guaranteed that all orders accepted will be placed. OEMs are doing their best to build as many vehicles as possible:
    • 2021 F150 – due 6/4
    • 2021 Ranger – due 6/25
    • 2021 Explorer – due 6/25
    • 2021 Escape – due 6/25
    • 2022 Econoline – due 5/28
  • Ford Super Duty & Transit Connect Commercial Loyalty Incentive Program:  Effective immediately, a Commercial Customer Loyalty Incentive is being offered via Smart Vincent Program #96278 for eligible commercial fleet 56M and 56A customers who placed a 21MY Super Duty or 21MY Transit Connect order(s) that could not be built due to recent unexpected commodity shortages before the model year production balanced out. This one-time customer cash incentive is intended to offset average year over year price increases on 22MY Super Duty/Transit Connect orders in addition to the offered 56A or 56M fleet incentives.

Stellantis

  • The 2021 Contract Year Volume Incentive Program Agreements expires on May 31, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, all 2020MY, 2021MY and 2022MY vehicles sold Fleet Out of Stock (OOS) will receive incentive payments based on the 2022 Contract Year Programs.  This is for 2021 out of stock purchases.

GM

  • The production schedule for the Chevrolet Equinox is full at the Ramos plant. GM was trying to move as much production from the Cami to the Ramos plant, as the Cami plant has been shut down for several weeks.  GM intends to produce every fleet order when Cami resumes production.
  • The LCF 3500/4500 gas engine has been built out for MY2022.

Toyota

  • Toyota is still committed to building all of the vehicle orders they have received.  They have started to discontinue certain colors.

May 10, 2021

Below are updated plant closures and vehicle production changes due to ongoing microchip and supply chain shortages. A full list of ongoing updates can be accessed on our website here. The latest additions are in bold. Fleets should continue to expect production delays. Average additional lead times are still 4-6 weeks on most models. Currently it is projected that over 1.2 million vehicles in North America will be impacted by the ongoing microchip shortage.

  • Ford: In an effort to protect its most popular and profitable lines, the following production lines will go in and out of production until mid-year.
    • Dearborn, MI (F150)
    • Kansas City, MO (F150 & Transit)
    • Louisville, KY (Escape & Corsair)
    • Oakville Assembly in Ontario, Canada (Edge & Nautilus)
    • Chicago, IL (Explorer & Aviator)
    • Ohio (Super-Duty)
    • Flat Rock (Mustang)
    • Michigan (Bronco & Ranger)
    • Hermosillo
    • Kentucky Truck Plant (this is due to planned upgrades to their lines for the next generation Super Duty)
  • GM: The following plants have been scheduled for production downtime. Their intent is to make up as much lost production at these plants as possible once back up and running.  GM’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain organization continues to work closely with supply base to find solutions for suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate any additional impacts.
    • Spring Hill, TN (GMC Acadia, XT5 & XT6)
    • Ramos, Mexico (Blazer)
    • Wentzville (Express, Savana, Colorado, Canyon)
    • Lansing Delta Township (Enclave, Traverse)
    • Lansing Grand River (Camaro, CT4, CT5) – Closure has been extended
    • Cami (Ingersoll Canada to Mexico) (Equinox)
    • Vehicle production note: Some Silverados are being built without a certain fuel-economy module, costing drivers about 1 MPG, due to the microchip shortage.
  • STELLANTIS: The following plants have been scheduled for production downtime.
    • Windsor, Ontario (Pacifica, Voyager)
    • Belvidere, IL (Cherokee)
    • Warren, MI (Ram 1500)
    • Saltillo, Mexico (Ram 1500)
    • Jefferson North Detroit Plant (East Side)
    • Vehicle production note: Ram no longer offers its 1500 pickups with a standard “intelligent” rearview mirror that monitors for blind spots as a way to continue to build vehicles due to the microchip shortage.
  • BMW: 23,100 vehicles were taken out of BMW’s production schedule, including X3 and X4 compact crossovers, X5 and X6 midsize crossovers and X7 large crossovers (Spartanburg, S.C.)
  • Volkswagen: VW has been unable to build 100,000 cars due to the shortage and they will not be able to make up for the shortfall in 2021. VW is making adjustments daily to production lines as inventory comes in.
  • Wentzville Assembly in Missouri (Chevy Colorado & Express; GMC Canyon & Savana): The plant will be down for two months for previously planned line upgrades and plant updates.

May 7, 2021

  • Supreme Body is no longer accepting new quote requests or orders until June 1st due to material shortages and a lack of labor.
  • Peterbilt is adding a raw material surcharge to each truck they are building due to global supply and labor shortages.
  • Dealership lots are bare of inventory. Fleets that are considering cancelling factory orders should carefully consider this plan of action, as going out of stock may not be a viable option not just now but for the next year.

May 5, 2021

  • Toyota Tacomas built between January 20, 2021 and March 15, 2021 will be delivered with one remote entry key and one standard key in order to conserve microchip supplies. A second remote key will be made available at a future date via a Special Service Campaign.

April 20, 2021

A newer example of fleet disruption is the production of telematics devices.  In some instances new orders of devices will be significantly delayed. Here are steps you can take to conserve resources:

  • For “plug and play” devices, make sure to unplug and remove devices before remarketing or disposing of vehicles. These devices can then be transferred to another vehicle if needed.
  • For professionally installed devices, work with your fleet management provider to schedule deinstall.

April 13, 2021

  • Ford is building and holding vehicles until microchips become available to minimize delays once the microchips become available.  The vehicles will stay in plant status and will not be released to transportation until they are completed.
  • Effective Friday, April 9, 2021, all 2022MY Chevrolet Low-Cab Forward gas models were cut-off from ordering.
  • Effective Monday, April 12, 2021, Nissan pulled ahead 2021MY vehicles and built out all remaining models about 4-6 weeks ahead of schedule.

April 5, 2021

  • Stock vehicle ordering continues to be challenging, with vehicle stocks 21% lower than they were at this time last year.
  • Light truck inventory in particular continues to be scarce, and due to recent plant closure announcements this will continue through Q2/Q3. We have received reports of dealers having only a small fraction of their typical inventory. The light truck inventory that is available is moving very quickly, spending only an average of 41 days on the lot compared to 88 days last year.
  • Given this climate, there can be no hesitation for companies that are ordering stock vehicles. We recommend flexibility and fast turnaround on approvals in order to secure vehicles.

April 1, 2021

  • There was another fire at a microchip facility in Japan the week of March 26th. This is having an impact on part production, which already was constrained.
  • OEMs continue to reduce shifts and cut overtime at plants where less popular models are made so they can concentrate on producing trucks & vans. They are also extending holidays in lieu of full shutdowns.
  • In some situations vehicles are only being built with one keyfob instead of full sets in order to conserve resources.

OEM Updates

Please visit our manufacturer’s information page for the latest build-out dates.

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