There were parts shortages because of Canadian trucker protests against pandemic rules. Toyota, General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler said they had to cancel or scale back some production at North American plants on Thursday because of the parts shortages.
Truckers who do not want cross-border drivers vaccinated or quarantined have used their big rigs to clog up traffic on the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. This bridge accounts for about 25% of U.S.-Canadian trade.
There will be no production at Toyota plants in Ontario and Kentucky until Saturday, a spokesman told Reuters, because of bad weather. There are a lot of logistics routes that have been cut, and it is not just one or two parts that are having problems.
The Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling non-truck vehicle in the U.S., but Toyota had to stop making the Camry, Avalon, Lexus RX, and Lexus ES because of the shortages.
If you live in Windsor or Oakville, a Canadian city near Windsor, Ford says it is running its factories there at a reduced rate. It also said that it hoped for a quick resolution "because it could have a big impact on all of the automakers in the U.S. and Canada."
The Detroit/Windsor bridge was closed on Wednesday night, so some U.S. and Canadian factories cut their hours on Thursday. This came after many factories cut back their hours on Wednesday night because of parts shortages.
G.M. says it had to stop making SUVs at a Michigan plant on Thursday because of the protests.
They said they had to cancel a shift on Wednesday and two shifts on Thursday at their Lansing and Delta Township plants.
When Shilpan Amin, the vice president for global purchasing and supply chain, told suppliers on Thursday that "even though we may have intermittent stoppages, we intend to keep production running and meet current production plans at all of our manufacturing operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico."
The company said it was "encouraging suppliers to look at other options to keep your operations going to meet our production schedules."
Honda said its Alliston, Ontario plant had to stop making cars on one production line Wednesday night because of border delays, but it was back up and running.
Stellantis said that the "situation at the Ambassador Bridge, combined with an already fragile supply chain, will make things even more difficult for people and businesses who are still trying to get back on their feet after the pandemic."
Then, a Stellantis official said, "We hope that soon we can agree so that our plants and our employees can get back to work."
The White House said Wednesday that it was talking with automakers, Canada, and customs officials to ensure that auto production did not get slowed down.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called on Canada to reopen the Ambassador Bridge on Thursday, as did U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell and Dan Kildee, both of whom live in the United States.
"It is essential that Canadian governments at the local, provincial, and national level stop this economic blockade," Whitmer said. "They must do everything they can to get traffic moving again as soon as possible and safely."