Ford, Toyota Halt Production as ‘Freedom Convoy’ Continues Vaccine Mandate Protests — What Will It Cost Consumers?

Toyota car dealership
Valeriya Zankovych /

The so-called “freedom convoy” organized by truckers protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates might soon free consumers of even more of their money, if auto production shutdowns caused by the convoy lead to even higher car prices.

Ford and Toyota have had to shut down production at plants in Canada and the United States because car parts are being delayed at two key border points, BBC News reported. Stellantis, which makes Chrysler vehicles, has also seen production disrupted, according to Seeking Alpha.

Truckers have been clogging up important distribution routes and border crossings to protest vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions. The disruption is costing car makers an estimated $300 million a day, and comes as the auto industry is already dealing with a global supply chain crisis that has contributed to a shortage of microchips — key components in auto production.

One of the border crossings being blocked is the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor, Ontario to Michigan. Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, has halted production at three factories in Ontario and said no more vehicles will be produced there this week, BBC News noted. Ford has halted production at an engine factory, while Stellantis said a shortage of parts has affected production at its Ontario plant.

Truckers have lashed out at Canadian government officials for the vaccine mandate as well as a requirement to wear masks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded by calling the protests “unacceptable” and saying they are “negatively impacting businesses and manufacturers.” The Biden Administration has also called for an end to the protests because of the risk they post to both the auto industry and U.S. agricultural exports.

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In her latest press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it’s important for everyone in Canada and the U.S. to understand the convoy’s negative impact on workers and the supply chain.

Meanwhile, consumers might see car prices rise even further because of the production delays. That won’t be happy news, considering that prices are already at historical highs.

As GOBankingRates recently reported, in December the average listing price for used vehicles rose above $28,000 for the first time ever. That same month, the average price of a new car went above $46,000 for the first time ever.

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