Japan Crisis Shuts Down GM Shreveport Plant

The first event of what is expected to be a chain reaction following last week's disaster in Japan arrived on Thursday, after American manufacturer GM announced it is suspending production at its facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, due to a shortage of parts.

The facility, which manufactures the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, will be closed the week of March 21. GM did not mention which of its suppliers in Japan was at the root of the parts shortages.

Even if the production of vehicles will be suspended, the car maker says that it has enough inventory to help it make it through the week. The decision surrounding the restarting production will be made at the end of next week.

“Like all global automakers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact, working across the organization to maximize flexibility, supply the most critical operations, and effectively manage cost,” GM said in a statement.

The quake followed by tsunami which struck the northeastern coast of Japan last week threatens to affect the automotive industry for weeks to come. Aside for the two major Japanese auto makers directly affected, Nissan and Toyota, other producers around the world will soon begin to feel the pressure of parts shortages after countless suppliers from Japan have either stopped production or are unable to ship the parts overseas.

The aftermath of the disaster from the automotive point of view, however, pales when compared to the ongoing human tragedy there. Over 10,000 people are either dead or missing, entire cities leveled and the threat of nuclear disaster is now more real than ever.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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