Snow, Snow, and More Snow
Is it me, or is February another rough month? Not only is it generally a slower month, but we have also been hit back-to-back with snowstorms, ice, freezing temperatures, etc. And it's not just us here in the Northeast – where we are at least used to this type of weather – but all over the country. My poor friends in Texas are going a little crazy, not used to this weather, and don't have any power or the right cars to drive in these conditions. This is happening nationwide, not just in Texas. Except for Florida – it's still warm and sunny down there.
The weather has been hurting us. With most people working from home due to the continuing pandemic, you are now adding snowy/icy conditions on top of that – nobody wants to leave their houses, and it is hurting business. Coupled with the lack of people walking through the doors, employees spend their days removing snow off cars and shoveling lots, taking time away from their phones and computers and touching base with their prospects.
And the hits continue! More snow is coming in our area. The pandemic is still here. It's cold. It's February. There is still an inventory shortage. Many of the significant auto plants are temporarily shutting down because of the severe winter weather. 2020 was a rough year (although pretty good for our industry), and 2021 is starting a little rocky. Anyone else ready to go off to an island somewhere and get away from all of this? I know I am.
Okay, so, which plants are affected? Let's look at this list: General Motors with locations in Fort Wayne, IN; Spring Hill, TN; Bowling Green, KY; and Arlington, TX. They also had to slow down and stop production in other plants simply because of severely low temperatures. Ford Motor Company shut down in Flat Rock, MI; Avon Lake in Ohio, and even in Mexico. Mexico! Their plant in Kansas City, MO, unfortunately, will be closed until February 22. This plant is closed to preserve natural gas. The less they use, the more is available to residential homes to stay safe and warm during these winter storms. This is a tough, but might I say, honorable, sacrifice to make. They are putting people's needs over the business, especially since this plant builds the F-150 pickup, which already is at a shortage. Toyota Motor is another company dealing with half days and/or shutdowns at many of their plants, including ones located in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia. Nissan and Subaru also had to stop production for a few days, eyeing the weather just like everyone else. Even Tesla had to halt construction on their plant in Texas because it was covered in snow and ice and surrounding road closures.
Sometimes there are hurdles in our journey. Unfortunately, there is always going to be something that is beyond our control. The only thing we can control is how we react to things around us. The auto industry is resilient. The pandemic didn't stop us. The lack of cars didn't stop us. And the weather won't stop us. As always, the people in this industry are hardworking and creative. No matter what is thrown our way, we, as an industry, will figure a means to not only work with it but to excel as well.