On New Year's Eve, Johnson Controls Inc. had prepared for the worst.
The supplier had SWAT teams - Strategic World Action Teams - in Plymouth and Holland, Mich., and in Milwaukee.
JCI had made equipment upgrades, replaced software and examined 500 key supplier sites to ward off any Y2K problems. It even had a Hummer ready to roll in Milwaukee if bad weather struck.
But when the new century arrived, the company experienced no significant Y2K problems. A computer spit out a wrong date, but that was it.
NO BIG DEAL
That appeared to be the story throughout the industry. By Tuesday, Jan. 4, automakers and suppliers were cautiously declaring victory.
A few glitches cropped up, but nothing serious. Some factory robots refused to do their thing. Some computers dated materials 1900, rather than 2000. But 'no major problems' was the common refrain heard last week.
The key word is no major problems, said Joe Bione, partner at Deloitte & Touche Consulting.
'For anybody to say there's been no problem, that this has been a hoax, they don't know what they are talking about,' Bione said. 'Nobody that I know has shut down. But the yellow flags have gone up on a couple. There will continue to be some problems.'
Deloitte & Touche was part of an industry consortium that helped automakers and suppliers prepare for Y2K.
While no critical problems were encountered, some problems needed immediate attention.
'There was a robot here and there shutting down that wasn't checked or looked over,' Bione said. 'Obviously, one robot's not the end of the world, but if it's in the middle of a production line, it certainly can stop the line for a while.'
But problems were quickly fixed or were 'work-arounds,' Bione said.
SMOOTH SAILING AT D/C
At DaimlerChrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., Susan Unger, chief information officer, said operations have been running smoothly since Sunday, Jan. 2, when 181 Jeep Grand Cherokees were assembled at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit without a hitch.
'We had some very minor things that did not affect production or selling of vehicles or suppliers or anything else,' Unger said.
The industry consortium that helped companies prepare for Jan. 1 monitored results from suppliers last week. In all, 8,000 supplier sites used a consortium Web site to report the results of two production checks.
Core consortium members are the Automotive Industry Action Group, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Manufacturing U.S.A., Volvo Car Corp., Deloitte & Touche Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
'We provide that data electronically back to the OEMs and they can see specifics about their suppliers,' said Fred Craig, AIAG Year 2000 program manager. The information relayed to the automakers supplemented that which was obtained from suppliers, he said.
GM operations have been nearly free of problems, said John Ahearne, a GM spokesman.
'I heard of one problem, a report that was generated in Canada, instead of saying 00/01/01, it said 19/01/01. That's not very serious,' Ahearne said. 'That's the nature of the stuff.'