says it continues to examine options to replace Allied Automotive Group as its U.S. car hauler, but Wardâ€™s learns Jack Cooper Transport will take over at least a portion of the business.
â€śWeâ€™re looking at all of the (GM) business, seeing how much we can handle,â€ť says Bob Griffin, CEO of Kansas City, MO-based Cooper Transport, the nationâ€™s second-largest car hauler.
GM earlier this week chose not to renew a contract with Atlanta-based Allied, which also is withholding services from.
Neither auto maker reports production or delivery disruptions. GM says today, â€śWe are re-sourcing the work to a new supplier and do not anticipate any impact on production,â€ť but declines to name its new carriers.
The switch comes at a pivotal time for GM. The auto makerâ€™s turnaround from its 2009 bankruptcy continues to gain momentum on the strength of some hot products. But part of its restructuring calls for much leaner inventories, so it cannot afford a bottleneck in its pipeline to dealers.
Griffin says Cooper Transport also is looking at taking over GMâ€™s business in Canada, where yesterday a Canadian Auto Workers union official told Wardâ€™s stocks of the fast-selling Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain already were beginning to pile up on lots at GMâ€™s Ingersoll, ON, assembly plant.
Ingersoll makes 1,000 vehicles per day. GM currently produces an estimated 5,700 units per day in the U.S., according to Wardâ€™s data, and 9,400 vehicles daily across North America.
Griffin says the carrier will have a clearer picture of its GM business by Monday.
â€śItâ€™s a lot to absorb in a couple of days,â€ť he says, adding Cooperâ€™s drivers are represented by the Teamsters union, which should eliminate any potential conflicts with GMâ€™s unionized employees.
Like much of the trucking industry, 80-year-old Cooper Transport recently teetered on bankruptcy as its business dried up during the recession. The trucker is in turnaround mode now and says it is a candidate for a planned reality-television series.