Severe winter weather has affected automakers' US and Canadian plants as a fierce storm saw some workers sent home.

Temperatures plunged to -13C yesterday (14 December) with grit apparently unable to ensure roads were passable and resulting in parts supply difficulties.

Reports emanating from North America indicate the -13C temperature was the highest reached for the last two days, resulting in disruption to US manufacturers' supply chains.

"We had snow and a severe freeze on the highways in the Detroit and Michigan area," a GM spokesman in the US told just-auto. "The salt was not able to have much impact on the ice so a lot of main roads are like skating rinks.

"Traffic has been very slow for the past three days - it has disrupted some of our carriers getting parts to our plants. We are doing work around that and we hope the road clearing folks can eliminate the issue."

The GM spokesman added the manufacturer had sent some workers home early, but that updated information was still to come through.

Ford and GM Canada were not immediately available for comment.

Reports also indicate one of the main road bridges lining Canada to the US has been closed for several days, affecting supply.

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