Feb 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

U.S.-Canada protest forces Ford, Toyota to deepen production cuts

Ambassador bridge blockade

Demontrators against COVID-19 vaccine mandates block the roadway at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on Feb. 9. Photo: Geoff Robins/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota and Ford continued production cuts on Thursday as anti-vaccine mandate protesters persisted to block a U.S.-Canada border crossing that serves as a key link for the auto industry., per CNBC.

Why it matters: Automakers say the shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge for a fourth day on Thursday is hurting supply chains and causing headaches in an industry that was already facing a global chip shortage.

  • The route, which connects Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, accounts for about a quarter of goods traded between the U.S. and Canada.

The big picture: Ford and Toyota had already halted some production on Wednesday, shutting down select plants and reducing production lines.

  • Ford is continuing to operate an engine plant in Windsor and an assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, on a reduced schedule, a Ford spokesperson told CNBC Thursday morning.
  • Toyota told CNBC Thursday that two of its Canadian plants would not be able to manufacture anything for the rest of the week due to supply chain issues that include the bridge's closure. Another plant in Kentucky is also partially shut down.
“We expect disruptions through the weekend, and we’ll continue to make adjustments as needed. While the situation is fluid and changes frequently, we do not anticipate any impact to employment at this time."
— Toyota statement, per CNBC

What they're saying: “This interruption on the Detroit-Windsor bridge hurts customers, autoworkers, suppliers, communities and companies on both sides of the border,” Ford said. “We hope this situation is resolved quickly, because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the U.S. and Canada."

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