Winter Storm Snarls Detroit Production

Focus Electric Assembly

Mother nature is causing problems for Detroit automakers this week. Auto plants had to cancel shifts Monday because employees couldn’t make it in to work due to winter weather. More than 16 inches of snow over the weekend left major highways in Michigan, such as I-75 in downtown Detroit, covered in white.

The Detroit News reports all area plants for FCA US, formerly Chrysler Group, canceled their first shifts because of high absenteeism. FCA US spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said the company expected second shifts to report as scheduled unless notified otherwise.

The automaker employs tens of thousands of people at its manufacturing operations in Metro Detroit, including Conner Avenue Assembly, Jefferson North Assembly, Sterling Heights Assembly and Warren Truck Assembly. It also operates a tool and die in Detroit; stamping plants in Warren and Sterling Heights; and engine plants in Detroit, Dundee and Trenton.

The automaker’s Toledo Assembly Complex also went down due to a level 3 snow emergency— a situation where it’s illegal for any vehicles other than emergency personnel to be on the road.

Ford Motor Co.’s Romeo Engine Plant canceled its second shift Monday and Michigan Assembly Plant canceled its first shift because of the winter weather, spokeswoman Kristina Adamski said. In addition, Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant was down for the plant’s A Crew and other plants were running, but seeing higher-than-normal absenteeism.

Some General Motors Co. plants were operating, though the impact from the snowstorm varies by plant, GM spokesman Bill Grotz said.

“Staffing is low in the areas that were hit by the snow, but things are running,” he said.

For example, GM’s Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township is not producing vehicles due to staffing, but employees who came to work conducted maintenance and training.

Photo Credit: Ford
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