GM halts production at four North American plants image

General Motors said it would temporarily stop making vehicles at four North American plants because of a parts shortage following the recent earthquakes in Japan.

Following the twin earthquakes that struck Japan’s island of Kyushu two weeks ago, GM said it assessed the potential impact on its supply chain and decided to avert parts supply issues by adjusting production schedules at four of its North American assembly facilities. Therefore, operations at Lordstown, Ohio; Fairfax, Kansas; Spring Hill, Tennessee, and the Flex Oshawa plant in Ontario will be shut for two weeks beginning on April 25.

The automaker said that this adjustment was not expected to have any impact on GM’s full-year production plans in North America or on its second quarter or full-year financial results for the region. The company recently posted higher-than-expected earnings, with first-quarter records for incomes and margin, with a net income for the period that more than doubled to 2 billion dollars, while North America accounted for 85 percent of GM’s earnings.

The Lordstown plant makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car; Spring Hill builds the Cadillac XT5 midsize crossover SUV; Fairfax puts together the midsize Chevrolet Malibu and the full-size Buick LaCrosse sedans; and Oshawa Flex makes the full-size Chevrolet Impala and the midsize Buick Regal sedans as well as the full-size Cadillac XTS sedan.

The deadly earthquakes also forced Toyota to halt production in stages between April 18 and 23, as it could not get auto parts in time from its suppliers, but it plans to gradually restart most of its vehicle assembly lines in Japan from April 25 onwards.