Automakers eye normal production schedules as Ambassador Bridge reopens | Business

The auto industry began returning to normal production schedules early last week with the reopening of the Ambassador Bridge after a week-long blockade, even as other supply chain disruptions continued to unfold. affect some automakers and that one estimate put industry direct losses from trade disruptions in the Ontario cities of Windsor and Sarnia at nearly $300 million.

Anderson Economic Group, an East Lansing, Mich.-based consulting firm, reported on Monday that it estimated the auto industry suffered a $299.9 million loss in wages and production during the shutdown. Ambassador Bridge. A convoy of truck drivers and others protesting Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions and a vaccination mandate for truckers halted commercial traffic on the bridge – the conduit for 25% of trade between the United States and Canada and a major supply route for the automotive industry – starting Feb. 7 through last Sunday.

The estimate includes direct wage losses of $144.9 million, most of which are in Michigan and Ontario, and losses of $155 million for automakers including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. , Stellantis NV, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., for a total of $299.9 million.

“In the hours following the disruption to trade at the Ambassador and Blue Water Bridges, we saw shortages and then slowdowns at assembly plants,” Patrick Anderson, director and CEO of Anderson Economic Group, said in a statement. communicated. “Only some of this lost production can be recovered given the tightness of the automotive industry’s supply chain right now, so these are real losses for the men and women working in this industry.”

Meanwhile, General Motors Co. reported Monday that no production in the United States or Canada was down due to parts shortages. The Detroit automaker’s CAMI assembly plant, which makes the Chevrolet Equinox, had minimal impact due to the blockade, as did the Lansing Delta Township plant, which houses the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. . Flint Assembly in Michigan, where heavy trucks are built, has suffered crew cuts due to parts shortages.

Ford Motor Co. said its Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio — which assembles medium-duty trucks, Super Duty Chassis Cabs and the E-Series Coupe and Stripped Chassis — and production Transit at its Kansas City assembly plant in Missouri would be down this week. And some of the automaker’s other Dearborn plants, including Kentucky Truck, Chicago Assembly and Dearborn Truck, are operating on reduced shifts. The rest of its factories in North America are operating normally this week, according to the company.

Ford attributed the production impacts to the global semiconductor shortage that has hampered auto production worldwide for more than a year.

“The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect Ford’s North American factories, as well as automakers and other industries around the world,” spokesperson Kelli Felker said in a statement. “Behind the scenes, we have teams working on how to maximize production, with an ongoing commitment to build every high-demand vehicle for our customers with the quality they expect.”

The automaker was operating its Oakville and Windsor engine assembly plants in Canada at reduced capacity last week, and said Friday the Ohio assembly plant was down due to a shortage. pieces associated with the blockade.

As the Ambassador Bridge crossing was blocked, production in Brampton of Stellantis NV (Dodge muscle cars and Chrysler 300 sedan), Windsor (Chrysler Pacifica minivan), Toledo (Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator) and other US plants all had shifts assigned at any given time during the blockade. The automaker did not immediately say on Monday whether it would experience additional impacts this week.

The American Honda Motor Co. said on Monday that all auto manufacturing operations in the United States were operational, but that its operations in Canada were producing only on one line on Monday “due to previously unrelated planned downtime. with the border issue,” according to spokesman Chris Abbruzzese. .

On Monday afternoon, Toyota Motor North America reported that all three lines at its plants in Canada were still not operating and that only some lines were operating at the three plants in Kentucky, Alabama and West Virginia that had been affected by the situation at the border. , according to spokesman Kelly Stefanich, although the Japanese automaker said it expects supply chain issues to improve throughout the week.

“We expect the related disruptions to continue this week, and we will make the necessary adjustments,” Stefanich said.

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