A GM supplier manufacturing warehouse in Lansing Delta Township, Michigan caught on fire yesterday, raising concerns of possible production delays.
According to a report from local NBC affiliate WILX 10, a fire broke out at Ryder Integrated Logistics Monday afternoon, creating a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles around. Firefighter crews worked to quickly contain the fire, with personnel onsite breaking down walls through the late afternoon to ensure that the wall insulation was not still on fire.
Luckily, no injuries were reported. However, the fire has lead to concerns that GM’s production schedule may be affected. Ryder Integrated Logistics provides parts sequencing and sorting for the automaker.
GM operates on a “just in time” manufacturing system which calls for parts to be sourced as needed, rather than via the creation of a surplus of parts. Although this type of system is leaner and more profitable, it also opens GM to risk if the supply of parts is cut short. GM has not yet made a statement whether it expects a production slowdown as a result of the recent fire.
To note, GM operates a manufacturing facility in Lansing Delta Township that produces the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse crossovers. As of this writing, the production for both vehicles is at full capacity, with the 2023 model year production kicking off on June 11th, 2022.
Like the broader automotive industry, GM has faced considerable setbacks this year as a result of the global microchip shortage. As supplies of the critical components have fluctuated throughout the year, GM has employed various strategies to keep production online, including a “build-shy” strategy wherein vehicles are produced and stored in an incomplete state in order to keep production lines moving. These incomplete vehicles are then finished and shipped once additional stores of the microchip components are sourced.
Additionally, GM has opted to curtail certain vehicle features in order to reduce the number of microchips required to build each vehicle.