Parts shortage forces auto makers to cancel shifts
By GREG KEENAN, AUTO INDUSTRY REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Friday, September 13, 2001
The arteries that link the heart of the Canadian auto
industry with its main customers and some parts suppliers in
the United States remained partly clogged yesterday, causing
some temporary plant shutdowns.
Honda of Canada Manufacturing Inc. cancelled the
second shifts at its two assembly plants in Alliston, Ont.
Full production at the plants, which assemble minivans, sport
utility vehicles and compact cars, is expected to resume
DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc. sent home about 900
workers at its minivan plant in Windsor, Ont., after they had
worked about half of their normal 7½-hour shift. The absence
of supplies of one part caused the shutdown, said
DaimlerChrysler spokesman Bob Renaud.
Afternoon and evening shifts at the three-shift operation
are expected to return to full production. Another plant in
Windsor and a plant in Brampton, Ont., ran full shifts.
Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. and General Motors
of Canada Ltd. reported that their assembly and parts
operations ran normally.
Several companies acknowledged that there were lengthy
delays getting trucks carrying finished vehicles across the
border. Hundreds of trucks carrying only finished vehicles
cross the border each day.
Honda, which ships about 60 per cent of its Odyssey
minivans, Acura MDX sport utility vehicles and Civic compacts
by truck, had at one point 22 trucks carrying its vehicles
sitting on Highway 401 near Windsor, spokesman Jim Miller
One truck arrived close to the border at 5 p.m. Wednesday,
but didn't make it across until 8 a.m. yesterday.
The delays are not significant, said Mr. Renaud of
"If a vehicle is delayed in delivery by 12 hours, it's not
the same as a part required in a plant in three to four hours
as part of a just-in-time delivery system," he said.
The Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ont., and Buffalo,
N.Y., was open yesterday, but trucks were being diverted
before they got to the bridge so they could be inspected.
There was a 27-kilometre-long line of traffic along Highway
401 east of Windsor waiting to cross the Ambassador Bridge or
the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel into Detroit.
Delays were growing at the Bluewater Bridge crossing
between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., with lines of
traffic 10 to 20 kilometres long.