One Detroit-based automaker already has a problem.
In case you haven't already heard about another bizarre situation in Canada, we'll give you a brief overview. Canadian truck drivers and other protesters opposed to the coronavirus vaccine mandate and quarantine restrictions in that country have initiated a blockade of the Ambassador Bridge that connects the US and Canada. Now entering its third day, exit ramps to the bridge on I-75 in Detroit remained closed and traffic was rerouted to another nearby bridge. That does not solve the problem.
The self-proclaimed "Freedom Convoy" remains steadfast in its protest and refuses to budge. As a result, automakers who have factories in both Detroit and Windsor are being forced to slow production due to a parts shortage as suppliers are unable to breach the blockade.
Stellantis has already confirmed that its Windsor Assembly Plant, home of the Chrysler Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid, and Voyager has been forced to "short shift its first shift due to parts shortages," per Automotive News Canada. It's also been confirmed that Ford Canada has idled its engine assembly plant in Windsor but aims to get it up and running later in the week. Meanwhile, Windsor city officials, the police department, and representatives of Canada's auto industry - from the UAW and automakers - are asking protestors to end the blockade.
"We encourage the organizers of the demonstration to maintain an open communication with Windsor Police personnel, using reasoned and tempered approach to come to a peaceful resolution," the Windsor Police Service tweeted early Wednesday morning. The bridge continues to remain closed on the US side in Detroit.
The auto industry supply problem is just one of many right now. Over 25 percent of goods traded between the two countries require the use of this bridge. An estimated 7,000 trucks cross it daily, amounting to more than $100 billion in annual bilateral trade. For now, GM says its operations remain unaffected.
Windsor city officials remain concerned that attempts to clear the blockade will result in things only becoming worse. Not only do protestors want the vaccine mandate lifted, which currently requires truck drivers to get the shots, but there's also a demand for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to resign. Unless there's a breakthrough in negotiations, there's going to be additional problems for carmakers.