GM Lays Off U.S. Workers Due To Earthquake
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday is halting some production and temporarily laying off workers at a Buffalo engine plant, another sign that Japan's disaster is affecting automakers around the globe.
GM's Tonawanda plant in Buffalo, New York, makes four- and five-cylinder engines for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups, which are assembled at a GM plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. GM has shut down the Shreveport plant this week because of a shortage of parts from Japan.
GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter Carpenter said Tonawanda has the parts it needs to make the engines, but it's not producing the engines because Shreveport doesn't need them.
She said GM doesn't know when production will resume at either plant.
Carpenter said 59 of the 623 workers at the engine plant will be affected. Workers will get around 75 percent of their pay while they're laid off.
GM hasn't said which parts are affected in Louisiana. Automakers tend to withhold such information for competitive reasons. GM uses a five-speed manual transmission made by Japanese supplier Aisin Seiki Co. in the Canyon and Colorado, but Aisin said last week that it has enough transmissions and parts to continue supplying GM and hasn't shut down any of its plants in North America.
So far, GM is the only U.S.-based automaker to be affected by parts shortages. Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC said Monday that they haven't slowed production but are monitoring the situation.
Also Monday, GM slowed production of its Corsa compact car in Europe because of a shortage of parts. GM cancelled two of the three shifts at its Eisenach, Germany, plant and closed another plant in Zaragoza, Spain.
GM said last week it was cutting unnecessary spending companywide as it assesses the impact of production disruptions from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.