Automotive News reported days ago that GM would not be offering heated seats on many of its highest-selling models and trims, including Chevy Silverados, GMC Sierras, and several SUVs because of the chip shortage, with a discount of up to $500 in exchange. Now, apparently, there is some hope that that feature might be retrofitted next year, also enough of a reason for GM to reduce that discount steeply.
This is, also, according to Automotive News, who I like to imagine meets its heated-seat sources in parking garages late at night. Silverados and Traverses with the High Country trim or better will still get heated seats, as will Denali versions of the Sierra and Acadia. Everyone else isn’t so lucky. Also, forget about heated steering wheels, in most cases, too.
The big news here is the drop in the discount, though:
GM last week told dealers that the vehicles can have heated and ventilated seats added when parts are available, potentially by the middle of 2022. As a result, GM will discount the vehicles by $50, instead of up to $500 as it originally said, according to a memo obtained by Automotive News.
The issue here is the chip shortage, but not for GM, for one of its suppliers. This all trickles downhill to consumers, of course.
GM has made various equipment changes as the global microchip shortage has crippled production industrywide. In this case its supplier, Gentherm, is grappling with a shortage from its own semiconductor suppliers, people familiar with the issue told Automotive News.
GM told dealers that heated steering wheels cannot be retrofitted, so vehicles missing that feature will still be discounted by $150.
I’m guessing that in five or ten years, the used market is going to contain a lot of black sheep cars and trucks from 2021 and 2022 that no one wants because they don’t have common features like heated seats, or at least you won’t be sure, because who knows if this retrofitting even happens, and, if it does, how many owners actually do it. You know, it’s hard enough to get people to get their recalls done.