US Ford to scale back auto production amid global semiconductor shortage

Author: Adam Yanelli

2021/04/01

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Ford Motor Co is the latest automaker forced to scale back production because of the global shortage of semiconductors.

A company spokesperson said Ford will shut the Dearborn, Michigan Truck Plant for the weeks of 5 April and 12 April and will also cancel super shifts at the plant for the weeks of 26 April, 10 May, 31 May and 21 June.

Super shifts are overtime shifts scheduled during a time when the plant is normally down.

Ford will shut the truck side of its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri for the week of 5 April and cancelling super shifts for all of April, for 3 May, 10 May, 17 May, 7 June and 14 June.

Super shifts will be cancelled on the transit side of the Kansas City plant for the weeks of 5 April, 12 April and 19 April.

The Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky will be down for the weeks of 12 April and 19 April.

The Chicago Assembly Plant in Illinois is cancelling a super shift for the week of 5 April.

The Ohio Assembly Plant is cancelling super shifts for the weeks of 12 April and 26 April.

The Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada will be down the weeks of 12 April, 19 April and 26 April.

The automotive industry has been in recovery mode following reduced sales and production associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

But semiconductor chip manufacturers have struggled to meet demand growth since late last year as the automotive sector rebounded, especially in China, which has led to widespread production disruptions.

General Motors Co said on Thursday it is building some vehicles without certain modules when necessary and that they will be completed as soon as more semiconductors become available.

Nissan Motor Corp said this week it will pause production at two assembly plants in the US and one in Mexico.

General Motors said last week that it will halt production of mid-size trucks at its plant in Missouri for two weeks because of the shortage.

Honda halted most auto production in the US and Canada during the week of 22 March because of supply chain issues.

Along with the shortage of microchips, the auto industry is also dealing with shortages of other necessary items because of supply-chain issues related to the recent winter storm and lingering effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The winter storm that hit the southern US in mid-February and knocked many US Gulf chemical plants offline has only intensified an already tight situation for the chemicals used in auto production.

Toyota said on 19 March that it is scaling back production in the states of Kentucky, West Virginia and Mississippi, and its plant in Mexico on supply-chain issues, most recently because of the shortage of the chemicals used to make foam for auto seats.

Honda said on 17 March it will halt most auto production in the US and Canada during the week of 22 March because of supply chain issues.

The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals which contributes more than a third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle, and production disruptions could severely weigh on demand.

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