By on April 2, 2011

All told, it takes about 3 weeks for a shipborne container from Japan to reach its destination at the West Coast. To the East Coast, it’s about 5 weeks. With the Japanese earthquake and tsunami three weeks old, we should see the first real stateside disruptions by now. And we do. But not all originate in Japan.

Ford will stop production at plants in Flat Rock and in Kentucky next week. Nissan “will adjust its production schedule,” says the Freep, “mostly because of the impact of the earthquake in Japan three weeks ago.”

At Ford’s pickup plant in Kentucky, the “undisclosed parts shortages” come at the right moment. “Demand for pickup sales has declined,” the Freep writes.

Ford halts Flat Rock not because it doesn’t have enough parts. It has way too many Mustangs. Its supply is good for 116 days.

Nissan will stop production at factories in Tennessee, Mississippi and Mexico from a few days to a week because supply of parts from Japan is getting low.

Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario, plant will shut now next week. “The latest shutdown is caused by a shortage of 3.6-litre Pentastar engines as well as plastic components, which house fuses,” writes the Windsor Star. Oddly, “the engines are assembled in Trenton, Mich., while the plastic fuse boxes are built in Mexico.”

Meanwhile in Japan, the “auto industry faces a vexing chicken-or-egg question. Are carmakers not producing cars because they can’t get parts? Or are parts makers not supplying parts because they’re getting no orders?” Automotive News’ Asian Editor Hans Greimel found no definitive answer. “Most Tier 1 suppliers here say they are ready to go — if only their automaking customers would fire up their factories and start placing orders again. But automakers say plants are down because the parts are, too.”

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

7 Comments on “Not All U.S. Factory Closures Are Made In Japan...”


  • avatar
    Buster Brew

    :”Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario, plant will shut now next week. “The latest shutdown is caused by a shortage of 3.6-litre Pentastar engines as well as plastic components, which house fuses,” writes the Windsor Star. Oddly, “the engines are assembled in Trenton, Mich., while the plastic fuse boxes are built in Mexico.”
    The final assembly point is not the point of origin for all the required parts of the assembled whole.  Chrysler’s Pentestar and fuse box issues may well be the result of a required, Japan sourced, component.  Of course, since Chrysler is installing the Pentestar in damn near everything it builds, they may simply be bumping up against the capacity ceiling for the engine. In the later case, with a transportation dispute forcing the Windsor plant to stockpile Minivans, it is the logical plant to close.

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      You are correct but the shortage of engines is due to insufficient rough ground camshafts from the supplier. They are polished at Trenton and Saltillo.
      Chrysler is retooling a decommissioned line at one of it’s facility to increase output but that takes time.

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      Yeah, the Chrysler plant may be a slightly different situation because of the dispute with a trucking company to transport Vans. In many cases vans are actually being driven to their dealerships directly and this is creating a backlog in moving vans out into the marketplace.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    To piggyback a little on Buster Brew’s post, I think there’s something wrong with these plant shutdowns, too. I think that they’re rather convenient for mfrs in North America. Trucks are moving slowly? Let’s blame the parts “shortage” for a temporary plant closing. I know a regular civilian like myself would have a hard time finding out what is really in short supply. but having worked for a big company, it wouldn’t surprise me if the mfrs were using this as an excuse to cut production and winnow inventory a bit.

  • avatar
    Norma

    So, during the next three weeks, various Nissan plants in North America will be closed?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    ““Most Tier 1 suppliers here say they are ready to go — if only their automaking customers would fire up their factories and start placing orders again. But automakers say plants are down because the parts are, too.”
     
    This isn’t necessarily inconsistent. In order to build a car, the assembler must have all of the parts, not most of the parts. The vast majority of suppliers might indeed be fired up and ready to go, but only one part has to be on the unobtanium list for the all stop order to go out.
     

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    “Ford halts Flat Rock not because it doesn’t have enough parts. It has way too many Mustangs. Its supply is good for 116 days.”
     
    There is a story here.
     
    It’s funny that all of the blind Ford cheerleaders said that once the 2011 engines are released, sales of the Ford Donkey would explode.  Welp…THAT didn’t happen…in fact, sales have dropped.
     
    Maybe it’s because of the major problems Ford is denying the manual transmission models are having…

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • 87 Morgan: 1. 00′ – 07′ XJ Jaguar; any spec R, VP, Signature etc. 2. Square body K5 3. Fox mustangs...
  • FreedMike: I like these but would never go off road, so I think I’d just get a basic two door Wrangler Sport in...
  • dal20402: Integra GS-Rs (the Type R just isn’t worth today’s prices) Almost anything Japanese with a...
  • IH_Fever: 1. IH Scouts and Travelalls – rare-ish when new and cool to see around, crazy priced but not quite...
  • Lou_BC: “Yes, this car won’t meet the vacation needs of 43% of the USA.” That seems like a lot of people. If Ford can...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber