Cost of Ambassador Bridge shutdown is growing for automakers, workers

As the clock ticks, the loss meter continues to run

Windsor officials are seeking an injunction to end the “illegal occupation” of the Ambassador Bridge, and the city’s mayor said protesting truck drivers “will be removed,” if they don’t leave voluntarily.

DETROIT – Many people might not know they use the “just-in-time” production method these days, which means they have to stop building when the parts run out.

That method is what’s happening, and the Anderson Economic Group is estimating $51 million in lost wages so far this week because of the blockade.

So, as the clock ticks, the loss meter continues to run.

Ford’s statement reads, “We are running our plants today in Oakville (Ontario) and Windsor at reduced capacity.”

The company echoes the U.S. Business and Political sentiment by saying, “we hope this situation is resolved quickly because it could have widespread impact on all automakers in the U.S. and Canada.

Stellantis said, “We had some U.S. and Canadian plants cut short first shifts today due to parts shortages caused by the closure of the Detroit/Windsor Bridge. Second shifts are expected to report as scheduled.”

General Motors said its Lansing Delta Township plant is closed. They make the Traverse, Enclave, and Acadia crossover utility vehicles there.

“This comes at a terrible time,” said Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs. “I mean, it’s never a good time, but we were just coming out of the chip shortage, and it’s still a major factor, but inventories are incredibly low.”

Krebs is talking about new cars on dealer lots.

Julie Fream, President and CEO of, Original Equipment Suppliers Association, says, “Automotive suppliers are on the brink of a significant production crisis. We need both the Canadian and U.S. border authorities, as well as local law enforcement, to fully enforce the laws and regulations to reopen all border crossings, including the Ambassador Bridge.”

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.