Windsor Assembly Plant Shutdown Shows Need for Made in Canada Solution
The Windsor Assembly Plant has been quiet for more than a month due to a shortage of microchips across the globe.
The president of the Automotive Parts Manufactures Association says the supply chain issue caused by the pandemic has hit all auto makers hard with many halting or scaling back production for the past few months as they wait for chips to arrive from China.
Flavio Volpe says companies tried to gauge demand, but struck out.
"Most companies miscalculated how strong the market was going to come back and, unfortunately, didn't have the lock on the amount of microchips they needed. At the same time, all of us around the world are at home," he says. "So there's an incredible increase in demand for electronic goods that use the same microchips."
Volpe told AM800's The Afternoon News that there's no easy answer to the problem.
"It's not an easy fix. If it was we'd just build a microchip plant here. We won't see this evening out until the end of this year. It doesn't mean that we won't see Windsor back. Windsor might be back in a couple of weeks, but I think we also all have to have reasonable expectations of how much activity is possible when critical components are missing," he says.
Volpe says this highlights the need for a made in Canada solution.
"What's important to be manufactured locally? I think we've gone through a once in a lifetime event here with COVID and we realize it doesn't matter if they might be a little bit cheaper somewhere else, but in that once in a generation crisis like this you don't want to be looking around," he says.
Production at the Windsor Assembly Plant has been on hold since March 29 with Stellantis extending the closure week by week.
Work was set to resume the week of May 17, but the company cancelled that plan and is yet to provide any word of when employees can expect to be called back.
With files from Kristylee Varley