Production has resumed at 55 General Motors Co. plant after six weeks free of United Auto Workers national strike against Detroit auto manufacturer.
"Our focus is to go back to regular production plans as soon as possible," GM Spokesman Dan Flores said.
When UAW members approved a new four-year contract on Friday, GM pushed to return to manufacturing vehicles already on Saturday with voluntary shifts at some facilities, including the Flint and Fort Wayne truck plants.
Experts expect GM's production to be at full capacity in a week or so, but there are likely to be some bumps in the road as supply production ramps up again.
"I don't think it's going to take that long," said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. "GM does not want to lose more money, workers want to get back to their jobs and there is certainly a lot to do."
The non-UAW GM plants in Canada, Mexico and Ohio that had to stop production during the strike also started production again this week.
The emphasis is on rapidly increasing production at truck plants in Fort Wayne, Flint and Arlington, Texas because "they are the most profitable and top priority right now," Dziczek said. To increase production on vehicle assembly plants, the automaker will likely focus efforts on transmission and engine facilities, which are likely to see overtime production, Dziczek said.
GM also noted that it would increase production on parts supplier plants to feed dealers in need of inventory.
A "large majority" of GM's top suppliers ended production "fairly quickly" after the strike began on September 16, said Michael Robinet, CEO of IHS Markit.
"There are many reasons," Robinet said. "One of them is that there are only so many racks … there are only so many places you can store."
Some parts are tailored to specific vehicle types, so "they're not going to build for several weeks to come," for the particular components, he said.
When supplier production starts up again, it is determined by where the supplier is in the chain, how quickly production at that supplier stopped when the strike started and how quickly the parts are needed.
"Everyone should be back … pretty quickly, some people will get some backlog, depending on how much they built up," Robinet said.
During strikes, Lear Corp. had to shut down four plants in Fort Wayne, Flint, Arlington and Wentzville, Missouri that produce seats for the nearby GM plants. These facilities have now resumed production.
Lear Corp. CEO Ray Scott said on a Friday earnings that the Southfield seating and electrical systems manufacturer has lost $ 525 million in revenue due to the six-week strike, forcing it to lower surplus guidance by more than $ 100 million for the year . GM accounts for 18% of sales.
Auburn Hills-based Nexteer Automotive, a supplier of steering and driveline products, had to temporarily reduce its workforce due to the strike.
"While we are eager to resume production, we understand that this process may take time," said Dennis Hoeg, Nextere's vice president and division president in North America, in a statement to The Detroit News on Monday. "We are monitoring the situation. and work actively to get our employees back as soon as possible, in accordance with the customer's plans to meet their requirements. "
Cox Automotive reported that GM had a healthy stock during the strike with an estimated 81 days supply of total car, trucks and SUVs in early October, over the industry's 66 days. Updated inventory levels won't be available until next week.
"GM had plenty of inventory that went on strike," said Michelle Krebs, managing analyst for Cox Automotive "Overall, it was above the industry average with just a few exceptions, and they really poured on the incentives, as everyone did."
GM dealers sold 738,638 vehicles in the United States in the third quarter of 2019 an increase of 6% compared to the third quarter of 2018.
GM on Tuesday is expected to report earnings per share of $ 1.36 per share and $ 34.12 billion in revenues, said David Kudla, Chiefstay Capital Management's chief investment strategist. Kudla expects the "strike to strike" will really emerge in the fourth quarter since several days of the strike were covered in that quarter, and "GM will respond to now lower inventories and a lack of hot-selling cars."  email@example.com
Staff writer Breana Noble contributed
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