DETROIT (DOW JONES/WWJ) – The former site of the Michigan State Fair resembles a new car lot these days.
Detroit automakers are struggling with real shipping troubles that are stalling deliveries of finished vehicles. As a matter of fact, about 4,000 new Chrysler vehicles — mostly Ram pick-up trucks — are parked under guard at the fairgrounds. The trucks are awaiting space on freight cars.
General Motors, meanwhile, has delayed vehicle shipments by a day or two for up to 1,000 cars at a time, and Ford is storing finished pickups at two locations: at its closed Wixom assembly plant and at a lot near downtown Dearborn.
When the U.S. economy went south during the recession, railroad operators put hundreds of thousands of rail cars into storage and laid off employees. Now that shipments of autos and consumer goods are rising again, the nation’s railroads don’t have enough railcars for fast deliveries.