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GM, Ford, Chrysler Close 24 Plants Due to Snowstorm

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC began reopening some of the 24 plants that were shut earlier today because of a snowstorm in the U.S.

GM plans to start work tonight on the third shift at three of its nine factories that halted production, with the rest scheduled to resume production tomorrow, said Kimberly Carpenter, a company spokeswoman. Ford got all of its plants running again on the second shift, except for truck plants in Michigan and Kentucky, said Marcey Evans, a Ford spokeswoman.

Chrysler plans to reopen nine of its 10 suspended plants in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario for the second shift today, the company said in a statement. Its Belvedere, Illinois, assembly plant will remain closed.

The weather also forced Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. to shut plants, pushing the tally of auto closures to more than 30.

“We’re really trying to run as many as we can, but it will depend on having the people and parts to do so,” Ford’s Evans said in an e-mail. “Right now it looks like parts may become more of an issue than people for some facilities.”

Ford had closed plants in Flat Rock and Dearborn, Michigan; Avon Lake, Ohio; Claycomo, Missouri and Chicago, Evans said.

Affected Models

The closings affect production of a range of models, including GM’s Chevrolet Malibu sedan, Silverado pickup and Volt plug-in electric car, and Ford’s redesigned Explorer SUV, F-150 pickup and Taurus sedan.

“We’re making a shift-by-shift and plant-by-plant determination,” GM’s Carpenter said. “We will try to reopen plants as soon as it’s safe for our workers.”

Six of the nine GM plants canceled early shifts in the day and may reopen later, pending weather conditions, Carpenter said. GM had stopped production at nine factories in Missouri, Michigan, Kansas, Indiana and Texas. The Arlington, Texas SUV plant started production for the second shift, Carpenter said.

Subaru canceled the first shift at its plant in Lafayette, Indiana, this morning, Jennifer McGarvey, a spokeswoman, said in an interview. The company hasn’t made a decision on the second shift at the factory, which builds the Outback, Legacy and Tribeca vehicles, she said.

Honda canceled today’s first shifts at five plants in Ohio and Indiana, said Ron Lietzke, a company spokesman. The second shift at Honda’s four Ohio plants was also canceled today, he said.

Toyota closed down its Princeton, Indiana plant and the Camry sedan line at Subaru’s Indiana factory, which the two automakers share through a manufacturing contract.

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