The electric power outage that crippled the northeastern United States late last week also paralyzed most of the automotive industry in metro Detroit, New York, New Jersey and parts of Ohio and Canada.
Automakers lost an estimated 35,000 units of production through Friday, Aug. 15, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group also closed their respective world headquarters in Detroit.
At Ford Motor, 23 of 43 North American assembly and manufacturing plants went down when the outage hit about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, mainly in Michigan, Canada and the Cleveland area, spokeswoman Brenda Hines says. Ford shut down all first shifts in Southeast Michigan on Friday. Some plants reopened late Friday.
Ford's biggest supplier, Visteon Corp., shut its southeast Michigan plants through at least the second shift Friday. "We'll make the decision to stay down on a shift-by-shift basis," says spokeswoman Marge Sorge.
At GM, all operations were closed Friday in metro Detroit except for maintenance and skilled trades, spokesman Edd Snyder says.
GM's OnStar unit was operational, but some cell phone customers were having trouble, OnStar spokesman Terry Sullivan says.
Most parts suppliers in the affected areas also closed their offices. Those that were forced to shut down manufacturing plants said they have a small bank of parts but were having trouble getting those parts to customers.
"We're producing, so that's not the issue," said Jim Gill, spokesman for Continental Teves Inc. "The issue is logistics and communication systems. When trucks show up, we're shipping. But it's kind of sporadic right now," Gill said Friday.
Continental Teves didn't need to cross the Canadian border to move parts, but many companies that did found long delays at the border.
The Ontario provincial government asked that all businesses stop using power for nonessential operations there. Toyota, Honda, Siemens VDO Automotive and Denso International America, for example, closed plants in Ontario even if they had power. c
Staff Reporters Lindsay Chappell, Dave Guilford, Gail Kachadourian and Amy Wilson contributed.