Japan quakes shake GM part supply chain


The two magnitude 7.0 earthquakes that hit southern Japan on the April 14 and 15 are going to be felt by General Motors plants in North America.

The Kumamoto Prefecture, which bore the brunt of the damage, is home to major parts suppliers, which were forced to close operations.

General Motors announced April 25 that it was temporarily stopping production at its Oshawa Flex Assembly plant Oshawa, Ont., as well as assembly plants in Spring Hill Tenn., Lordstown, Ohio, and a Fairfax, Kansas.

The Chevrolet Impala, Buick Regal and Cadillac XTS are built on the flex line.

Adria MacKenzie, manager of communications for General Motors Canada, said the automaker is assessing the impact of the Japanese earthquakes on its supply chain and has taken steps to ease parts supply issues by closing four lines for two weeks.

“This temporary adjustment is not expected to have any material impact on GM’s full-year production plans in North America,” MacKenzie said. She went on to say the automaker was not expecting any impact on its bottom line.

“In addition, the company does not expect a material impact to its second quarter or full-year financial results for GM North America.”

The CBC reported that Nissan’s two plants in Kyushu were temporarily shut, but damage was minor. Honda plants were not affected.

Toyota Motor Corp. has stopped production not only at a factory in Kyushu but at 15 others in Japan as of the 18th. But a Toyota Canada rep told Canadian AutoWorld that production facilities outside of Japan currently remain unaffected while sales in Canada will not be impacted as there was sufficient inventory.

- With files from CBC, DurhamRegion.com