The terrorist crisis in the United States has affected the automotive industry
inside Canada and plants near the border between the two countries, forcing some
manufacturers to shut plants down temporarily, writes Monica Dobie.

Delays of up to 20 hours at border crossings from the US to Ontario, caused
by a tightening of security, have slowed the delivery of American-made parts
to assembly plants in Canada.

Ford has now closed five assembly plants in both countries until congestion
on border bridges and tunnels clears later this week, with the St Thomas, Ontario,
operation being closed in Canada, and four Detroit area plants in the US.

John Arnone, manager of public affairs for Ford Canada, told
“We’ve had to adjust to major logistical challenges in the past three days.”

He said that exporting assembled vehicles to American customers has been significantly
slower and that transporters were in the queues waiting for customs clearance
in Windsor, Sarnia and Buffalo.

“We accept that this is part of an international crisis,” he added.

DaimlerChrysler Canada sent 900 workers home from its minivan plant in Windsor
Ontario, midway through a 7.5-hour shift because of a lack of parts and Honda
of Canada also cancelled second shifts in two assembly plants because of parts
supply delays. Full production by both makers resumed later.

General Motors Canada spokesman Richard James told that the company’s
three plants at Oshawa, Ontario, had been affected. Car plant evening shift
workers had been sent home four hours early and truck plant night shift workers
had also been told to leave two-and-a-half hours early on one occasion. James
expected the situation to be repeated.

“We’re monitoring shipments as they come across the border,” James
said. “Parts coming from the US are being held up. The longer that they
are held up, the more parts shortages we have at our plants.”

He added that in some cases, parts were being held up at the border for between
five and seven hours.

“I cannot speculate how long this will continue,” James said. “Some
parts are a little more critical than others. It’s too early to tell whether
this is going to get worse or better.”

To view related research reports, please follow
the links below

regional report: North America (download)

world’s car manufacturers: A financial and operating review (download)