General Motors Closing Pickup Plant For Lack of Japanese Parts

A 2011 Chevrolet Colorado ZQ8 Crew Cab. GM is suspending production at the Shreveport, La., plant that makes it and the sibling GMC Canyon because of a parts shortage due to the Japanese earthquake.

General Motors plans to halt production Monday of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups made at Shreveport, La., because some parts come from Japan and aren’t available now.

The GM move is the first production halt directly linked to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that wiped out portions of the northeast coast of Japan.

“We have suspended production at Shreveport for next week due to parts shortages due to the crisis in Japan. We will resume operations as soon as we can,” GM manufacturing spokesman Chris Lee tells Drive On. He wouldn’t identify the parts involved. Japanese companies often are the sole suppliers of electronics part for many vehicles.

Toyota and Subaru previously eliminated overtime shifts at their U.S. factories to stretch supplies of hard-to-replace Japan-sourced parts, and auto production in Japan continue on hold indefinitely. Car companies are forecasting when they plan to restart, but the dates continue to be pushed into the future.

Since March 11, nuclear radiation has leaked from damaged power plants, complicating and delaying rescue and revival efforts.

Canyon and Colorado are among GM’s least-popular trucks, outsold about 15-to-1 by the company’s full-size pickups. The Shreveport factory is scheduled to close permanently “no later than 2012,” Lee says.

A new-generation Colorado will be made elsewhere.

By James R. Healey
Mar 17, 2011


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