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GM Restarts Production In Louisiana And Buffalo

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On: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 1:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Restarts Production In Louisiana And Buffalo

Though the problems in Japan stemming from the earthquake, tsunami, and damaged nuclear reactor events of earlier this month are expected to affect the Japanese and global auto industries for months to come, at least one automaker here in the U.S. is back up and running after a shortage on parts shut some of its operations down last week. GM announced on Monday that it was restarting production at its Shreveport, Louisiana plant, as well as bringing the Tonowanda plant in Buffalo back up to full-scale production.

The Shreveport plant is responsible for building the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks. GM was forced to stop production at the plant last week as result of a shortage on undisclosed parts. The Associated Press hints that the parts in question may be electronic air sensors from Hitachi, a Japanese manufacturer that admitted to running out of certain parts. 800 plant workers were temporarily laid off as a result of the closure. After shutting the Shreveport plant down, GM was forced to close some operations in Buffalo. The closed operations are responsible for building engines for the two small pickups built in Shreveport.

Those shutdowns represented the first major impact that the events in Japan had on U.S.-based auto production.

This week, GM has restarted full production in Louisiana, reinstating all 800 workers. It also refired up its engine operations in Buffalo, bringing that plant back up to full production

GM spokesman Kim Carpenter explained the decision: ""We made the decision to restart Shreveport because we need to build trucks for our customers."

GM did not commit as to whether or not the events in Japan are likely to cause additional stoppages and slowdowns in the future. Like Ford and Chrysler (and every other automaker that relies on Japanese parts), GM plans to continue monitoring the situation to assess its impact.

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