CHICAGO — A shortage of car parts from disaster-struck Japan has forced General Motors to temporarily shutter one of its factories in the United States, the firm said Thursday.

Production at an assembly plant in the southern state of Louisiana will halt for one week "due to a parts shortage resulting from the crisis in Japan," the Detroit, Michigan-based company said.

The 30-year old Shreveport factory employs 923 workers, producing the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon vehicles.

Before the announcement, experts had expressed fears that damage and blackouts in quake-hit areas of Japan could cause parts shortage around the world.

While Japan produces a vast range of cars each year, Japanese manufacturers are also a vital cog in the supply chain for US and European automakers.

"Like all global automakers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact," GM said.

"We will resume production at Shreveport as soon as possible," it said.

"At all other plants in North America, we continue to run normal operations."