• Mar 22, 2011
General Motors recently announced that it was forced to halt production at its Shreveport, Louisiana assembly facility. Now GM is hitting the brakes on production at its Tonawanda plant in Buffalo, New York as well. The reason for the stoppage? The massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan has caused significant delays from parts suppliers.

The two plants affected thus far are responsible for building the engines found under the hoods of GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks. There is no word yet on when either plant will re-open, but USA Today reports that the stop in production has resulted in 59 layoffs at the NY facility.

An analyst for IHS Automotive suggests that GM should have enough of the delayed parts in stock to keep building engines. However, the automaker is choosing to move the parts around to vehicles that are both more popular and more profitable. This means that the Canyon and Colorado sit quietly while the Silverado eats at the big table.

[Source: USA Today | Image: General Motors]


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  • 25 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Actually, Shreveport is the final assembly point for the Colorado/Canyon, while Tonawanda builds engines, something it's done (especially for Chevrolet) since the '30s.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now is the time to crank up those steel mills manufacturing plants & bring the work back home
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm in construction, out of work 2yrs this month something needs too be done
        • 3 Years Ago
        In Japan their wages are higher than here, so why is GM making parts in Japan?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, this global economy thing is just another way for us to be affected by other countries problems and in effect it has seem to drag down our workers wages and standard of living.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Unfortunately, by the time the factories are built, machines are tooled, and workers hired and trained, the Japanese will be back in business. Industry like this isn't something you can just jump into at a week's notice.
        • 3 Years Ago
        yeh but we can still rethink about what we've been doing by shipping jobs overseas and begin a new thought prossess it would'nt hurt
      • 3 Years Ago
      This small little bump in the road for GM and the Colorado pickup would have been the norm for all carmakers if GM (as well as Chrysler) were allowed to go under like some traitors like Representative Issa (R from CA) and other right wing nuts wanted.

      If GM folded, that would have guaranteed to have killed of a bunch of automotive suppliers around the country (and around the world) who build parts for more than just GM. So then those other automakers would not have been able to get parts to finish building their Ford Fusions and Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics. It would have wrecked the entire industry.

      Luckily cooler minds won out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Some of you need to look into this a little deeper. The computers, I believe, are made by Hitachi (don't hold me to that). Most car companies would/will source this out to a company the specializes in computers, so this is nothing new. In the long run this is probably a problem that will affect every manufacturer.
      • 3 Years Ago
      gerrrg: no, it's not a British thing. "Laid off" is the correct British usage as well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So much for made in America some parts are made in Asia and why? American companies cant make cheap computer parts? If American make those parts the truck price will go as high as a Lexus? Is that why the outsource all the way to Japan? or is it because American don't have the knowledge or not capable making cheap computer part?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Newsflash: Automakers don't make every single little piece that is in their cars. Do you think Ford has a bolt factory just to produce the bolts used to put their cars together? No, they source them from a supplier who is very efficient at making bolts. Automakers source all sorts of components from hundreds of different suppliers. This happens to be a component sourced from Japan.

        Also, these lay-offs aren't really anything special, it is common practice in industry. If a plant is idled, for whatever reason, the hourly workers are temporarily laid off until production can resume.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's not just about making them; it's about the IP, too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tonawanda is the main plant where 2.2L and 2.4L Ecotec engines are built. This is a big deal! Many DENSO and Hitachi fuel, ignition, HVAC, and ECM part on these engines.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bet this disaster is really making auto manufacturers take a hard look at their redundancy plans, and the redundancy plans of their suppliers. GM may find it just may make business sense to produce some of 'everything' in their home country instead of relying completely on production elsewhere.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, I'm sure some changes will be made as a result, but really I don't think you can create much of a redundancy system for such a major disaster. Extra over seas supply stockpiles may grow a bit, but not a whole lot else.

      • 3 Years Ago
      The computers are the part at hand that GM is running low on. If I remember right it is the same as the Cruz so they're just moving the product to Lordstown to keep their production up.
        • 3 Years Ago
        thanks - I dislike when these articles leave out details like this...

        the whole time I was reading I was thinking "ok, what are the damn parts they're short on?!"

      • 3 Years Ago
      GM is throwing workers to the curb huh? Toyota hasn't laid off a single person. But that's positive news, so you won't see it posted.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Did you not read your own article? These are temporary workers. They hire on knowing that their jobs can be eliminated at any time and they make up a very small percentage of Toyota's overall workforce in the US. Regular employees that make up 99% of Toyota in the US do not lose their jobs. Do some research before posting.

        It's a shame that ANYONE has to lose their job, but if you sign up for a temp position, you have to be prepared for the worst.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The two plants affected thus far are responsible for building the engines found under the hoods of GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks."--------------This line says it all. No one really cares.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The day Sea Urchin merits a remote ounce of credibility on car quality is the day Louis Farakan is elevated to Pope.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ohhh emotional. I was just pointing out that cars are crappy.
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