DETROIT -- General Motors pulled its tooling from 50 parts makers during the year-end holiday shutdown in a series of unusual moves that highlight the turmoil in the automotive parts supply chain.
GM made the moves during the production break after winning a pledge from President George W. Bush for $13.4 billion in U.S. loans, spokesman Dan Flores said.
On Dec. 23, for example, GM pulled its tooling from one small supplier -- SKD Co.s metal-stamping operation in Brampton, Ontario -- to ensure production of the Chevrolet Malibu, Flores said. The Malibu is one of the few GM vehicles to post a sales increase last year, when a 22.7 percent plunge in overall GM sales pushed the company to ask the U.S. government for a rescue loan.
Based on SKDs financial distress and uncertainty, GM had to take action to protect our business interests, Flores said.
On Dec. 21, SKD sought the Canadian equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization for its four Canadian plants.
Flores declined to name any other suppliers. He said vehicle production was unaffected by the switch. All of GMs 22 North American assembly plants were shut down the last week of December and first week of January, and 12 were closed for all of January.