The two nearly-identical pickup trucks are among GM’s most popular models. Rather than slow down production on two of their best-sellers, the automaker began cutting the trucks’ less popular features. Two fuel-saving chip users, the cylinder deactivation and start/stop systems, were the first to go. Now, HD radio has been added to the list.
The chip shortage has impacted almost every industry, but auto manufacturers might’ve been hit the hardest. It’s crippling their ability to bounce back after the dip in sales last year caused by the pandemic. With shortage potentially continuing for the next year, now might be one of the hardest times to buy a new car.
The chip shortage’s effect on the car industry
Automakers are in the thick of the chip drought right now, so it might be hard to pinpoint specific numbers, but a
New York Timesreport in May said Ford slashed $2 billion off its profit forecast because of the lack of semiconductors.
Companies are all finding their own way through the crisis. In a separate report, NY Times says Mercedes-Benz and Renault are triaging their chips to more expensive, profit-making models. Besides the feature-cutting, GM also closed their Kansas City plant in February because of the shortage and hasn’t turned the lights back on yet.
The production problems came at the worst possible moment for the industry—as demand for new cars began to recover after the COVID-19. Sales dropped so much that the
average ageof a car in America increased by two months.
The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra’s lost features
GM’s chip-saving technique will probably go unnoticed by most consumers. The first two features the automaker pulled from its full-size trucks were fuel-savers that aren’t exactly front-and-center in the Silverado or Sierra marketing campaigns.
The cylinder deactivation chip allowed the trucks to use all eight cylinders for acceleration and then shut a few off when they weren’t needed. The start/stop feature diminished idling time by cutting the engine when the truck was at a stop and then restarting once the driver took their foot off the brake.
Kelley Blue Booksays the loss of the two features might keep the trucks from getting their "EPA-certified fuel economy window stickers" but probably won’t make the same dent in sales as the company would see if they had to halt production.
Loss of HD Radio will probably make even less of an impact, especially since radio listenership plummeted during the pandemic and hasn’t recovered since safety protocols were lifted.
The feature allows traditional AM and FM stations to send clearer, digital signals that carry other information besides the soundwaves of analog radio. The 2022 Silverado and Sierra’s radios will just sound a little fuzzier than in earlier models.
Finding auto insurance for your new truck
If the loss of HD Radio and a little fuel efficiency hasn’t deterred you from buying a new Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra, you’re going to need an affordable car insurance policy to go along with your new wheels.
Truck insurance tends to be more expensive than car insurance because its towing capabilities and work utility add a higher risk of pricier claims. But that doesn’t mean pickup owners are stuck with high premiums.
Saving on truck insurance is simple: download the
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