• May 13, 2011
While Toyota has been one of the automakers hardest hit by the tragic Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in March of this year, nearly every auto company on the planet felt its impact. Thanks to a global, tight-laced network of interconnected suppliers, manufacturers were left scrambling to make up gaps in the parts chain when Japan's manufacturing mechanism ground to a halt. As it turns out, General Motors took on the challenge of making sure as many of its plants stayed operational as possible by employing a team of hundreds of employees that worked around the clock.

Officially termed "Project J," the workers came up with creative solutions to manage the supply interruptions. As a result, GM says that its bottom line for 2011 won't be significantly impacted by the Japanese earthquake.

In some cases, that meant shifting parts from low-volume plants like the Shreveport, Louisiana facility responsible for the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon to other facilities. GM stressed that it didn't want to simply walk away from its old suppliers in their darkest days, so the automaker sent a team to Japan to learn how it could help get key factories back up and running. That included sourcing hydrogen peroxide and steel from Korea from two different companies.

The whole effort is incredibly impressive and worth a read if you've got the time. Check it out over at The New York Times.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Toneron
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why all the GM-luvin all of the sudden? Are you guys on Soros' payroll now?
        Danaon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Toneron
        Don't blame what the administration did on GM. GM's choice was chapter 7 bankruptcy or the bailout exactly how the government wanted. While I disagree with the way it happened, GM's rescue cost far less than not rescuing it would have cost. The taxpayer loss on this bailout is going to be far less than even one year's worth of unemployment paychecks would have cost the government. And in return, we get a healthy auto industry that is starting to bring jobs back to the US.
          Toneron
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          It's not the outcome it's the principle. The end does not justify the means. Why don't I get notified of replies anymore? This new portal really stinks. Seems like I see a lot less comments on this board anymore. Another cool blog bites the dist. Too bad. Looking for the next one I guess...
          Jac Zobel de Ayala
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          GM and Chrysler bankruptcy would have meant increased market shares for Ford, Japs and Hyundai. And more factories and employment from said brands as they try to keep up with increased demand. But knowing Ford they'd probably build plants in Mexico or Canada, instead.
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          Danaon: All people who are going to agree with what you said, already do. There are going to be those who suffered a personal loss, and I'm sure we both can understand their anger. Then there are the "others". 1). There's the asinine bunch of ideologues on one hand, who thinks that the sanctity of an ideology is sacred, and should be placed ahead of what's actually good for the country. 2). Then there's the I hate Obama crowd, who will stand in opposition of everything he says and does. They do so, not because its right or wrong, they do so because of hatred. To them, I say stock up on Pepto, GasX, Tums and Malox, because he's going to be around until 2016.
      Seph
      • 3 Years Ago
      The question is "is these new parts reliable"? They should inform the customers where the new parts came from, and extend warranty if necessary..
      MANARC100
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dont think GM ever had a lack of talent in the areas of building cars. They cranked them out like clockwork for 100 years. The issue until recently has been desinging cars...and controlling costs. Good to see the talented factory/supplier management and teams are still at GM. Bravo, this may give them and others a chance to win some ground back from Toyota/Honda.
      Zondaracer
      • 3 Years Ago
      I live in Europe and I already have all these features on my new Kia Sorento. My wife wanted every option including the dual moon roof and back up camera