Free trade blockage from trucker protests could deter foreign investments: Global Automakers of Canada
The impact of the border blockades continues to weigh on North American auto production as the protests enter their fifth day.
A spokesperson from Honda Canada told BNN Bloomberg that the company plans to idle production at its plant in Alliston, Ont. as a result of the border delays. Honda's U.S. production remains unaffected, the spokesperson said.
"As this remains a fluid situation, we are monitoring the disruption of transportation between Canada and the U.S. and will adjust production as necessary," the spokesperson said in an email.
Meanwhile, Magna International Inc. Chief Executive Officer Seetarama Kotagiri told analysts during a management call on Friday that the company has begun to see an "initial impact" on its operations from the border protests.
"We're constantly monitoring the situation and some of the [original equipment manufacturer] customers have had to idle or cut production requirements," Kotagiri said. "They're adjusting the production schedules, and we're kind of starting to see some initial impact in some areas versus the other, for example, [just-in-time] facilities and so on."
A Magna spokesperson later told BNN Bloomberg that one of the company's U.S. plants that makes car seats suspended production on Friday and a "handful" of plants in the U.S. and Canada has reduced worker shifts.
Shane Wark, an assistant to Unifor’s national president, told BNN Bloomberg that General Motors Co.'s Oshawa facility plans to cancel its Saturday production shift as a result of the border issues.
A spokesperson from Stellantis N.V. said their North American assembly plants were operational but obtaining parts needed for auto production remains an “incredibly fluid” situation. Ford Motor Co. said its Oakville, Ont. and Windsor, Ont. plants are running at reduced capacity and its Ohio assembly plant is down as a result of a part shortage associated with the border delays, a company spokesperson said.
"Everyone is evaluating production on an hour-by-hour basis," Wark said. "These plants are hand-to-mouth on parts."
The delays are also causing some intermittent downtime at Toyota Motor Corp.’s engine plants in West Virginia and Alabama, a spokesperson told BNN Bloomberg in an email.
“We expect disruptions through the weekend, and we’ll continue to make adjustments as needed. While the situation is fluid and changes frequently, we do not anticipate any impact to employment at this time,” the Toyota spokesperson said.
Some relief came to the auto sector Friday afternoon as the City of Windsor was granted a court injunction to remove protestors blocking Canada-bound traffic on the Ambassador Bridge linking the U.S. and Canada. The Ontario government also declared a state of emergency that could see protestors fined or jailed for not complying with authorities.
With files from CTV News