Crate Engine Shortage: What You Need to Know

Crate Engine Shortage: What You Need to Know

Fears of a Chevrolet crate engine shortage burned through social media like wildfire this week, fanned by incomplete information. Bill Martens, of Chevrolet Performance, tried to quell those flames with an update on the supply of Chevrolet Performance 602 and 604 engines.

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“The shortage is a matter of perspective,” Martens told Outside Groove. “You can call one Chevy dealer who has inventory, and then another who does not. If that dealer does not have inventory and has to order a crate engine, we have an issue.”

Martens cited Covid-19 as the root cause for the shortage affecting inventory of the crate engines.

“Parts are back-ordered from the factories that produce them,” said Martens. “Up to 50% of the workforce is said to have been affected by Covid-19. Workers are out because of being quarantined. Whether it’s the 602 or any other line of racing engine, the shortage of components is affecting production.”

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Martens expects the supply problem to resolve soon.

“Our best forecast is that we will have interruptions in our supply [of crate engines] sporadically for the next 60 to 90 days,” Martens said. “On top of the parts supply chain issue, we had a factory in Texas down for a week because of the winter weather that paralyzed that state.”

Martens, who has worked at GM for 17 years, has never witnessed supply-chain issues like they’re experiencing today.

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“Supply has been a continuous calamity since Covid-19 began,” said Martens. “It has affected all automotive manufacturers, not just GM.”

In addition to the social media discussion about the crate engine shortage, other rumors ran wild.

“We are absolutely not getting out of the performance engine business,” Martens said. “GM has invested heavily into tooling and production of crate engines, and our company plans to be building them for a long time to come.”

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