By on December 16, 2010

Due to missing parts, GM, Ford and Chrysler had to shut down plants in the U.S. and Canda, or put them on half shifts for the second day, Reuters reports.

  • GM’s Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan is shut down, and six other plants have shortened or suspended shifts
  • Ford suspended production early at their Oakville assembly plant in Ontario. Some of their plants in Canada and the U.S. missed production earlier, he said.
  • Chrysler factories in Toledo, Ohio, and Brampton, Ontario, were shut down this morning to resume production later in the day.

As reason for the temporary shutdowns, winter storms were cited that stranded trucks and disrupted delivery. However, the true reasons run deeper:

  • There is an industry-wide constraint for parts. Carmageddon has left many parts makers bankrupt and closed. Surviving ones had scaled down. Now the survivors are swamped.
  • The fragile just-in-time system is easily impacted by force majeure in the best of times. During shortages, a snowflake can cause a crisis.
  • Demand for certain car segments and makes is shifting quickly as the market reorients. Sudden demand often outruns supply, especially when lean production has the factory starving for parts.

But hey, missing parts is a better problem than missing customers.

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4 Comments on “Carmakers Snowed, Stop Lines...”

  • avatar

    Hey, how ’bout that weather we been havin’?

  • avatar

    Speaking as a former shipper at GM Oshawa, this is perfect weather. Too much snow, and management shut the whole place down and sent us home. Automatic short work week kicked in 85%. Not too shabby.

    However, if some trucks could get through, management would tell us …”Whatever it takes get the trucks unloaded” They would put us on 24 hour coverage pay us for breaks, lunches, Saturdays/Sundays whatever.

    We were shipping fenders to Fort Wayne and had to ship a truck ever half hour. I remember the Material Handling Superintendent giving me his personal Cell number. “Mikey, if you miss a window you call me 24/7, got that”

     I miss those days…..not as much as I miss those pay checks though.

  • avatar

    Pondering the cost savings of relocating assembly/manufacturing facilities to areas farther south to avoid heating costs experienced farther north.
    Would cooling costs, if undertaken, meet or exceed northern location cooling costs, if implemented?
    Locating plants to Mexico. Can worker comfort be ignored and no heating and/or cooling be utilized?
    Does worker productivity make comfort costs cost-effective?
    So many variables calling out for answers.
    Surely at least a few assemblages of the counters of beans have poked around the questions asked and unasked within this post.
    Numerous other studies conducted to ascertain cost efficiency over the decades from the nifty slow-mo moving picture films of workers performing their jobs, etc.
    Too lazy to seek answers groping through Webdom.
    Would rather spend the time gazing at tie-side bikinis and short pleated skirts as worn by females cheering about various things.
    Or leaving inane comments at numerous message boards, frequently tossing out off-topic comments causing strife among some and occasionally causing some of the masses huddled in freedom-desiring assemblages to ponder a perceived significance conveyed by one as Disgruntled as I.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    We’ve had 4½ feet of snow where I live. It’s a toasty 19°,  -7.22° in French.

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