Terremoto no Japão afeta produção da GM nos Estados Unidos

Publicado: março 18, 2011 em Chevrolet, GM

A General Motors vai parar uma de suas fábricas nos Estados Unidos devido a falta de peças causada pela crise do terremoto no Japão

A General Motors vai parar a fábrica de Shreveport, Louisiana na próxima segunda feira devido a problemas de falta de peças causada pelo terremoto do Japão. A fábrica da GM onde são feitas as picapes compactas Chevrolet Colorado e GMC Canyon deve ser a primeira fábrica nos Estados Unidos a ser afetada pela falta de peças. Chris Lee, porta voz da GM não disse quais peças estão em falta, ou o número de veículos de deixarão de ser produzidos. Lee informou que a fábrica deve parar pelo menos por uma semana, e deve permanecer paralisada até que o fornecimento de peças volte ao normal.

Além da GM, nenhuma outra fábrica de automóveis foi forçada a paralisar devido ao terremoto. No Japão várias montadoras estão paradas, mas as fábricas das montadoras japonesas nos Estados Unidos dizem que os estoques de peças e componentes são suficientes para manter a produção por enquanto. De acordo com Tracy Handler, analista de produção no IHS Automotive, diz que a GM suspendeu a produção mais cedo do que se esperava para direcionar alguns componentes para as linhas de carros mais vendidos. A GM vendeu 4810 Colorados em janeiro e fevereiro, um aumento de 51% em relação ao ano passado. No início de março o estoque de Colorado era suficiente para 58 dias, diz o Automotive News Data Center. No caso do Canyon, a GM vendeu 1459 unidades nos dois primeiros meses do ano, e tinha um estoque suficiente para 60 dias.



As for the Canyon, GM sold 1,459 of them during the first two months, a 21 percent gain from last year. It has a 60-day supply of Canyons in inventory.

Wait and see

Speculation about the potential impact of the earthquake on parts production and disruptions in assembly operations has been running rampant around the world this week.

“We believe automakers have less than four weeks of Japan-made components on hand,” Wells Fargo analyst Richard M. Kwas said in a report today. “The silver-lining is that retail demand is solid and lost volume will likely be made up later in the year.”

Most of the speculation has focused on potential shortages of microchips and electric batteries, two key product lines with a significant presence in Japan.

“It only takes one supplier to stop a car plant,” Nissan Senior Vice President Andy Palmer said today during a phone interview from his office in Tokyo as aftershocks rattled the building.

However, Palmer added: “I think the impact on our overseas (non-Japanese) facilities is going to be pretty minimal.”

Nissan’s facilities outside Japan — including plants in the United States, Europe, Thailand and China — usually purchase about 95 percent of parts locally, while some of the remainder does come from Japan.

“I know that we have got about six weeks of cars in supply for our European facilities for example,” Palmer said, adding that supplies of parts had left Japan by boat before the earthquake hit.

Some Nissan suppliers have had facilities damaged by the tsunami that struck the country after the earthquake, while others are inside the exclusion zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, Palmer said.

“To the best of my knowledge none of the suppliers we are in distress with are amongst the ones that we cannot counter-source,” Palmer said.

But while a degree of resourcing is possible, a massive resourcing campaign is not reasonable due to costs, analysts say.

“Clearly, Japanese transplants would be most affected as a meaningful number of parts  – engines, engine components, transmissions, electrical components – are shipped from Japan to North America for vehicle assembly,” Kwas said. “However, Detroit automakers are not immune to the disturbance in the Japanese supply base.”

Other automakers have been monitoring the situation closely.

Chrysler’s pipeline

Chrysler Group LLC, which hasn’t had its production disrupted by last week’s earthquake in Japan, said it could take four to six weeks for the disaster to start affecting the U.S. auto industry’s supply chain. Chrysler gets 2 percent to 5 percent of its components from Japan, Katie Hepler, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

The component “pipeline is full, but of course it’s not being fed at the other end,” said Dan Knott, Chrysler’s senior vice president for purchasing. “For the U.S. side, in particular, we won’t see the full brunt for four to six weeks.”

The company is getting a daily report from the region and there is a risk that production could be lost because of parts not coming from Japan, Knott said today in an interview at Chrysler’s headquarters.

“We have nothing on our radar screen right now that indicates we will be significantly impacted,” he said. “That’s not to say I’m not nervous.”

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110317/OEM01/110319900/1492#ixzz1GuddaZwd


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