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Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

General Motors is reducing production in some of its North American plants due to a global semiconductor chip shortage.

Why it matters: The chip shortage is affecting automotive companies around the world, with semiconductors functioning as a key component for steering systems, car brakes and other automobile features.

  • GM has temporarily closed some plants, with expected downtimes ranging from a week to several weeks.
  • GM expects the closures will cost them between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in operating profits this year.

The chip shortage stems from slowed production and manufacturing in 2020. Semiconductor chips require long lead times due to their complicated technology, resulting in a backlog of demand.

Between the lines: The chip shortage is having a significant impact on the auto industry's recovery from COVID-19. Inventories are running short, just as the big spring selling season begins, which means a mismatch of supply and demand, and is already leading to higher prices, Axios' Joann Muller notes.

What they're saying: "We continue to work closely with our supply base to find solutions for our suppliers’ semiconductor requirements and to mitigate impact on GM," General Motors said in a statement.

  • "Our intent is to make up as much production lost at these plants as possible," the company added.

Go deeper

GM to build electric Chevy Silverado pickup in Detroit

2021 Chevrolet Silverado. An electric version is coming soon. Photo: GM

General Motors announced Tuesday it will introduce an electric version of its popular Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that will be built at the company’s Factory ZERO assembly plant in Detroit.

Why it matters: GM is rapidly expanding its portfolio of battery-operated vehicles, with a plan to deliver more than 1 million EVs globally by 2025. It just unveiled the GMC Hummer electric SUV last weekend, joining the previously announced GMC Hummer electric pickup.

12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

National parks "drowning in tourists"

Expand chart
Data: National Park Service; note: Gateway National Recreation Area is excluded due to missing data in 2021. Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

National Parks across the U.S. are overflowing with a post-pandemic crush of tourists, leading to increased issues with congestion, traffic jams, user experience, strain on staff and increased damage to the parks.

Why it matters: Some are seeing such a record number they're being forced to limit, and even close, access to certain areas to avoid the danger of eroding the land. The result, ultimately, could change the way Americans interact with the parks going forward.

Why Mark Zuckerberg is going meta

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook's "next chapter," Mark Zuckerberg says, is to be prime builder of "the metaverse" — an open, broadly distributed, 3D dimension online where, he says, we will all conduct much of our work and personal lives.

The big picture: Zuckerberg admits Facebook will only be one of many companies building this next-generation model of today's internet — but he also intends Facebook to lead the pack.

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