A fire at a just-in-time supplier of molded-plastic interior parts for the Chevrolet Cruze/Lacetti Premiere has caused vehicles assembly to shut down, a GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. spokesman tells Ward’s.
“There was a fire at (a subsidiary of) Saehan Corp., which is located in Iksan, quite close to our Gunsan plant,” the spokesman says.
GMDAT’s Gunsan, South Korea, facility produces the all-new car for the domestic and export markets, except for China, which has its own assembly facility. GM also plans to build the Cruze for the U.S. at its Lordstown, OH, plant beginning in 2011.
The supplier fire occurred on the night of June 28, and GMDAT vehicle output was halted the next day.
The fire was substantial, destroying 43,055 sq.-ft. (4,000 sq.-m) of plant space and equipment. No parts can be accepted from the plant, because they may have been compromised by the fire, the spokesman says.
“At this time, we cannot determine how many days the vehicle assembly lines will be down. But obviously a production halt of (the Cruze) is a big issue, although we believe it will not impact our customers,” he adds, noting GMDAT currently has a substantial stockpile of the vehicle.
“Once the flow of parts is restored, Gunsan can make up for the lost production.”
The plant operates two shifts on a 5-day schedule and produces 1,200 units per day. The facility mainly builds the Cruze/Lacetti Premiere, but also makes the previous-generation Lacetti compact vehicle that is exported as the Optra and Nubira.
Plant workers will continue to receive their pay during the shutdown.
GMDAT’s export sales in May included 13,214 Cruzes and 3,881 Optra/Nubira units.
GMDAT also exports some parts used in the Cruze to China.
Shanghai GM Motors Co. Ltd. sold 18,560 Cruze sedans last month, up more than 100% from year-ago. Cruze deliveries in China in the year’s first five months totaled 74,149 units.
Through May, cumulative Cruze sales in China since its April 2009 production launch tallied 169,009.