A New Blockade Threatens Supply Chain for Car Maker: Canada Protests

The fresh emerging protest is the third along the U.S.-Canada border and has been stalling trade and traffic between both counties.

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A blockade at the busiest way linking Canada to the United States is now snarling global supply chains, causing production stoppages and other difficulties for automakers and other manufacturers with dwindling Inventories.

Automakers, who already are suffering from a global shortage of semiconductors needed to power their cars, are being specifically affected by the partial shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit, Mich., with Windsor, Ontario, and accounts for roughly a quarter of trade between both countries.

Ford Motor Company said it had shut down two Canadian plants and reduced production at another as of Wednesday afternoon. Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company would likely be closing some production lines later on Wednesday because of border closures, said David Adams, the president at Global Automakers of Canada, which represents both companies.

Mr. Adams denied specifying which plants would be affected but said that Toyota and Honda together have 6 different facilities in the surrounding area that depends on the shipments across the bridge. Thousands of trucks cross the bridge daily, ferrying auto parts between major vehicle plants.

Mr.Adams also stated that” It’s pivotal, certainly, to the automotive industry,”.

Both the companies Toyota and Honda operate on just-in-time supply chains that deliver parts to factories as they are needed, giving them enough inventory to operate for about two days without new deliveries before production lines need to slow, was stated by him. Protests over Canadian Vaccine mandates began partially blocking off traffic over the Ambassador Bridge on Monday night.

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In a statement given on Wednesday afternoon, Shane Wark who is the assistant to the national president at Unifor, Which represents Canadian autoworkers, said the protests at the border continue to disrupt work at Unifor-represented auto plants, resulting in short-term layoffs at a Ford engine plant in  Windsor, a Ford assembly plant in Oakville which is near Toronto and the Windsor assembly plant of Stellantis, the company that own Fiat Chrysler.

He also said that The situation is fluid and changing the hour.’

To those statements, he added “These blockades are creating added hardship on Unifor Members and their families in the auto sector, following two years of extraordinary production and supply chains disruptions and must come to an end immediately”

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