Automakers are in a pickle: delay production of cars because of a lack of chips, or produce cars, trucks, and SUVs missing some features customers have come to expect? It’s fascinating to see how different automakers are handling this once in a lifetime supply chain conundrum!
General Motors, for example just announced that they will temporarily halt the production of vehicles with heated and ventilated seats. Yes, you read that right. It’s 2021, and GM is officially no longer offering heated seats in new vehicles (with the exception of top-end trims of its full-size pickups).
GM isn’t the only manufacturer that is struggling to produce vehicles with all of their standard equipment. Let’s break down who is doing what, and which features consumers should and shouldn’t expect in their new car.
GM removes many features
General Motors has seemingly been hit the hardest by the ongoing chip shortage. While the company tries to move forward, many core features and functionalities have been removed from their lineup.
GM removed heated and ventilated seats and heated steering wheels
General Motors made headlines late on Friday, November 12th when they announced that beginning on Monday, November 15th they would stop production of most of their vehicles with heated and ventilated seats, as well as heated steering wheels.
The effected vehicles include:
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Chevrolet Blazer
- Chevrolet Equinox
- GMC Canyon
- GMC Terrain
- All Chevy Silverados and Traverses except High Country trims
- All GMC Sierras and Acadias except Denalis
General Motors has not signaled when the vehicles would be produced with their previously expected equipment. GM has said that effected customers will be eligible for a $150 to $500 credit.
Earlier this year, GM removed climate control digital temperature displays, side blind zone alert and Super Cruise driver-assist technology on certain 2022 vehicles. Fortunately, now those features are available.
On Friday November 19th, in a memo to their dealers, GM announced that they will reduce the credit given to customers who do not receive vehicles with heated seats. Instead of a credit up to $500, GM will credit customers up to $50. Correct, $50 for losing heated seats in their car. That’s crazy.
GM also instructed dealers that they think they will be able to retrofit vehicles with heated and ventilated seats by mid-2022. GM told dealers that heated steering wheels cannot be retrofitted, so vehicles missing that feature will still be discounted by $150.
Chevrolet and GMC lose HD Radio and wireless charging
Earlier in 2021, GM said it would eliminate the HD radio option because of a lack of semiconductors. Both 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500s and GMC Sierra 1500s, as well as 2022 model year 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups were impacted. All trim levels were affected, and GM is offering buyers of a $50 credit.
Also earlier this year, GM announced that wireless charging pads would not make it into many of its vehicles. The 2021 Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, and GMC Yukon SUVs as well as the 2022 Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse, and Cadillac XT5 and XT6 were all impacted by this decision.
Vehicles for sale without the charging pad will get a $75 credit.
GM removes auto stop-start and V-8 cylinder deactivation
Two core features that help make GM trucks more fuel efficient have gone missing: auto stop-start, and cylinder deactivation. In June, GM said the 2021 Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 would not come with stop-start technology. Customers who miss out on this feature are entitled to another $50 credit.
Even earlier this year, GM announced that some 2021 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra models would use more gas because they would not have their cylinder-deactivation systems. The impact? The trucks would increase their fuel usage by one mile per gallon.
BMW removes touchscreens from their cars
A brand new BMW X7 SUV has an MSRP of upwards of $100,000. At that price, you’d expect to get any feature or option you could possibly imagine. Buy a new car in 2021 and you’ll notice a piece of equipment nearly as ubiquitous as the seatbelt, however in your new $100,000 X7 you won’t have it; a touchscreen.
The effected vehicles include:
- 4-series coupe and convertible
- 4-series Gran Coupe (excluding i4)
- All variants of the X5, X6, and X7
BMWs that were also ordered with the Parking Assistant package will now lose BMW’s Backup Assistant technology.
Porsche removes adjustable seat and electric steering column adjustment
Earlier this Spring, Porsche told its U.S. dealers that their 18-way adjustable seat option (part of a $2,090 upgrade) would not be available. It appears that today the option is back for the Macan.
Another feature temporarily missing from some new Porsches is the electric steering column adjustment. Earlier this month, Porsche spokesperson Christian Weiss said that Porsche has been in communication with customers who have ordered cars with this feature, and said it will deliver vehicles with a manual steering column adjustment for the time being. Once available, the electric version will be retrofitted.
Tesla removes USB ports and passenger-seat lumbar support
Even thought hey have raised their MSRP by 20%+ in 2021, Tesla has not been immune from chip shortage challenges. Earlier this year in May, Tesla removed lumbar support from the front passenger seat in the Model 3 and Model Y EVs.
Recently, another feature was silently deleted, USB-C ports in the rear of the center console of the Model 3 and Model Y.
How will this affect used car prices?
Used car prices have ben skyrocketing for the past year. With new car production unable to keep up with demand, we have seen wholesale and retail used car prices set all-time highs. Frequently we are seeing used cars sell for more than their original MSRP.
Interestingly, with new vehicles being sold without all of their standard features, we wouldn’t be surprised if there is even more upward pressure on newer model year used vehicles. Would a consumer pay a premium for a used 2020 or 2021 that has all of the functionality they’ve come to expect, or wait for a factory order that may or may not have the features they expect? We think consumer demand for new user vehicles will continue to drive used car prices up.