The General Motors of today is a completely different animal from one even five years ago. The automaker has finally begun to think on a global status, producing world-renowned product from its production facilities.
But, with thinking global comes consequences out of anyone’s control. This past April, a massive earthquake struck Japan, crippling GM’s supply chain on a global level. GM announced four of its North American plants would go offline.
Automotive News tells the story of swift action to contain the damages in the automaker’s supply chain, in which GM looks back and is pleased.
“The dramatic lessons learned from the tsunami enabled us to minimize the impact” of the April earthquake, GM CEO Mary Barra told reporters last month.
According to the report, about 70 of GM’s tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers were disrupted by the earthquake. Within hours of the natural disaster, a war room was assembled inside the General Motors renaissance center with employees tracing which parts came from where. In the end, essential components were shifted to trucks and SUVs, GM’s hot-ticket items, according to two insiders. This calculated move helped ensure those plants did not go offline.
Despite the response, it left GM with much to be desired for May retail sales. Now, the automaker wants to come out swinging in June, as it rolled out major incentives during its Truck Month and a new ad campaign nearly declaring war on the Ford F-150.
Through it all, GM stated it learned a lot, but still believes more can be done to become transparent with its suppliers. Especially when mother nature decides to play havoc.