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GM and Chrysler Run Out of Floormats, Forced to Cut Production

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"I have been adding dozens of employees for sales and sales support," Chevy and Buick dealer Mike Bowsher told the Los Angeles Times recently. "The economy is crazy, but our retail business is still growing and getting better."

While manufacturing remains weak, auto production is up for the second straight month.

And experts say the US auto industry is on "very stable footing."

Break out the Miller High Life, fellas! We're goin' to--

Wait, what's that? We ran out of floormats and have to cut production in five plants? Oh, you have got to be f**king kidding me...

Yep, it seems that both GM and Chrysler are suffering from what Reuters describes as a "carpet shortage."

Apparently, a carpet plant in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania that also supplies floormats to Toyota, Volkswagen, and Daimler AG took heavy flood damage during Tropical Storm Lee and had to shut down for repairs. The broken link in the supply chain forced Chrysler to cancel shifts at three plants "because of a shortage of carpet," a spokeswoman told reporters Meghana Keshavan and Bernie Woodall. A GM spokesman said the lack of available carpet caused the automaker to slow output at two plants, one in Michigan and one in Ontario.

Ford Motor, however, appears to have dodged a bullet on this one. The company said it is "monitoring its inventory of carpet and floormats," but is still running at full speed.

The auto industry supply chain's mettle was already tested back in March, when Japan was hit by an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.

“This is the biggest impact ever in the history of the automobile industry,” Koji Endo, managing director at Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo, told the Associated Press at the time.

IHS Automotive predicted that "one-third of daily global automotive production will be cut because of supply chain disruptions.”

That came to roughly $200 million a day, estimated Goldman Sachs, meaning a loss up to that point of $2.8 billion for automakers like Toyota and Honda.

For GM, waiting for delayed parts meant idling a Louisiana pickup factory, and two compact-car plants in Europe.

For Ford, it meant telling dealers to stop taking orders for tuxedo black F-150 and Super Duty pickups, Explorers, Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigators, after a paint pigment plant in Japan temporarily halted production.

John Taylor, director of supply-chain programs at Wayne State University told Crain’s Detroit Business that parts were "still in transit on ships,” which adds to the uncertainty, as one single part stranded at sea means an entire car goes unbuilt.

As does waterlogged carpet. Though, as one commenter on asked, "Couldn’t the Chrysler guys just weave some new ones out of hemp?"

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