Japanese parts shortage closes GM plant in US

Japanese parts shortage closes GM plant in US
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General Motors is to temporarily close one of its US factories due to a shortage of parts that are made in Japan.

It is a sign of the growing effects on the industry from the Japanese earthquake one week ago.

The GM plant in Shreveport, Louisiana makes pick-up trucks and will close from 21 March.

Analysts said production of cars worldwide is likely to be affected unless Japanese suppliers revive their plants and start sending parts soon.

Tim Denoyer, an auto industry analyst with Wolfe Trahan & Co said infrastructure issues in Japan threatened to extend the time these plants are idled.

He said Honda is still not in touch with 44 of its 113 suppliers in the quake zone.

Nissan’s Senior Vice President Andy Palmer commented: “It only takes one supplier to stop a car plant.”

GM said it had “sufficient” vehicles to meet consumer demand and that it hoped to open the Shreveport plant as soon as possible, although it did not specify a timeframe.

The largest US carmaker confirmed that its other North American plants are operating normally.

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