Crain's Detroit Business: John Taylor on ripple effect of Ambassador Bridge protest

The shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge last week, the main link between Michigan and its largest trading partner, over COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truck drivers and other issues quickly escalated to an economic emergency with far-reaching impact from farms to automotive factories. Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Stellantis NV and other automakers were forced to scale back production at assembly plants in Michigan and Ontario due to parts shortages. The production cuts have a ripple effect on suppliers already hurting from shutdowns related to the pandemic and microchip shortages. “All it takes is one missing part, and it shuts down an assembly line,” said John Taylor, associate professor of global supply chain management at Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business. “The whole system is built on minimal disruption so you can ship parts a day or two before they go into the car.”

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