In case you haven’t heard, there’s a group of Canadian truckers that are protesting vaccine mandates by parking their vehicles at a crucial Canadian border crossing, among other places. The protest has been taking place for some two weeks now and spans multiple crossings but one in particular that connects Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit is at the center of multiple automotive manufacturer production pauses and General Motors is the latest to be affected.
This one point of entry accounts for roughly a quarter of all trade between Canada and the United States. Production shifts on Wednesday as well as Thursday have been canceled at General Motors Lancing, Michigan factory and more could be on their way if the protest doesn’t end soon.
This is only the latest blow to production delays and slowdowns due to a variety of factors including the chip shortage, parts shortages in general and, of course, the pandemic. General Motors isn’t the only one to be hit hard either.
Ford paused production lines across North America earlier in the week due to the chip shortage but the Canadian trucker protest has affected them as well. “This interruption on the Detroit-Windsor bridge hurts customers, autoworkers, suppliers, communities and companies on both sides of the border that are already two years into parts shortages resulting from the global semiconductor issue, Covid and more,” Said Deep, a spokesman at Ford, told The New York Times. “We hope this situation is resolved quickly because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the U.S. and Canada.”
Toyota has canceled shifts for the remainder of this week at its trio of Canadian plants because they can’t move parts across the border. They think they’ll ultimately make up the time lost with additional shifts once the protest has ended. Honda has managed to keep most of its Canadian plants running, though at reduced production rates. In the meantime, many companies are working to find alternative routes but there’s no way to ensure that those roads won’t end up blocked as well.