NPR: Hugo DeCampos on impact of Ambassador Bridge protest on auto industry

About 100 protestors unhappy with Canadian COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates for people entering the country have shut down the bridge since Monday. The protests are putting a strain on supply chains. About $135 billion in trade between the U.S. and Canada goes across the Ambassador Bridge every year, and Hugo DeCampos, an assistant professor of supply chain at Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business, said roughly one-third of that trade is auto-related. The automotive industry has been dealing with supply chain issues throughout the pandemic, and parts shortages have already caused a temporary cut to one shift at a Stellantis plant in Windsor. DeCampos said it’s expensive to keep vast amounts of inventory and that leaves automakers susceptible to shortages. “Now when you stop that bridge, if you have those parts that are required hourly, then you’re in trouble,” DeCampos said. “Anytime an assembly line gets shut down temporarily then not only the assembly plant is not recovering the cost for the machinery and equipment, but now they’re paying some of the highest skilled and highest-paid workers to stand idly not creating value. So you get hit with a double whammy.”

Full interview on NPR

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