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By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -General Motors Co will reduce production at most North American assembly plants this month because of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, hitting its profitable truck and sport utility vehicles, it said on Thursday.
The largest U.S. automaker will halt production next week at its Fort Wayne plant in Indiana and its Silao plant in Mexico, both of which build pickup trucks. In total, GM is cutting production at eight North American assembly plants in September.
The industry-wide chip shortage is causing massive auto production cuts around the globe and auto industry officials say the problem is getting worse.
GM shares were largely unchanged in late trading Thursday.
Earlier this week, Ford Motor Co said it will also cut truck production next week because of the chips shortage and said its August U.S. sales were down 33% on the chip shortage. Toyota Motor Corp said last month it will slash global production for September by 40% from its previous plan.
GM will halt production at its Wentzville, Missouri plant for two weeks starting Sept. 6 that builds midsize trucks and full-size vans. GM will also halt production at the CAMI Assembly in Canada and San Luis Potosi Assembly in Mexico for two additional weeks. The company builds its Equinox SUV at both plants.
The automaker is also idling production for two additional weeks at its Lansing Delta Township plant that builds the Chevrolet Traverse and the Buick Enclave.
GM will cut two weeks of production in September at the Spring Hill Tennessee plant that builds the GMC Acadia, Cadillac XT5 and Cadillac XT6. Its Ramos, Mexico plant will take two additional weeks of downtime for Blazer production, while Equinox production will be down through the week of Sept. 27.
Production of the Equinox has been down since Aug. 16.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner said the "continuing impact of the chip shortage – epitomized most recently in the news that GM will be forced to idle plants across North America – speaks to the urgency of passing bipartisan legislation to fund new semiconductor production in the United States."
GM said during production downtime it will repair and ship unfinished vehicles from many impacted plants, including Fort Wayne and Silao.
(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by David Evans and Chizu Nomiyama)