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Ford Will Assemble the Popular F-150 Pickup Without Some Parts Due to Ongoing Chip Shortages

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【Summary】​U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. is idling two of its assembly plants due to the global semiconductor shortage that is affecting auto production around the world. In addition to the temporary plant closures, Ford said it will assemble its popular F-150 pickup and Ford Edge SUV without certain parts until its can source the components from its suppliers.

FutureCar Staff    Mar 18, 2021 4:45 PM PT
Ford Will Assemble the Popular F-150 Pickup Without Some Parts Due to Ongoing Chip Shortages
F-150 Production at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan Truck Plant in 2019.

U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co is idling two of its assembly plants due to the global semiconductor shortage that's affecting auto production around the world. In addition to the temporary plant closures, Ford said it will assemble its popular F-150 pickup and Ford Edge SUV without certain parts until its can source the needed components from its suppliers.

Ford is idling production at its plants in Louisville, Kentucky, and Cologne, Germany.

A Ford spokeswoman said that the recent chip shortage combined with the shortage of another part caused by the severe winter weather in the Midwest last month is forcing the company to only "partially build" the thousands of affected vehicles. Ford said its will hold the incomplete vehicles "for a number of weeks" until they can be completed and shipped to dealers. 

The situation is particularly troubling for Ford, as the F-150 pickup is the company's best selling vehicle and one of its most profitable models.

Ford warned of lower profits in 2021 of $1 to $2.5 billion due to the semiconductor shortages.

The F-150 pickup and Ford Edge SUVs are being assembled without certain parts, including some electronic modules that include the chips, Ford said. 

Ford declined to identify the suppliers of the affected parts, but a spokeswoman told Reuters that said the parts needed for the F-150 and Edge vehicles are tied to "basic vehicle functions", such as windshield wiper motors and infotainment systems.

Ford is also canceling the late shift today and both shifts on Friday at its Louisville, Kentucky Assembly Plant, which builds the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs. Production is expected to resume with shorter shifts on Monday and full production the following day.

Ford was also forced to suspend production at its Louisville plant in early January due to the chip shortages. The Louisville plant employs roughly 3,800 hourly workers.

At Ford's plant in Cologne, which builds the compact Ford Fiesta, the plant is being idled March 1-16 and again on March 22, Ford announced. 

The chip shortages can be at least partially blamed on the global pandemic, which led to declining auto sales and production output from suppliers beginning in the second quarter of last year. The pandemic caused automakers to curtail orders for semiconductors and chips used in vehicle production. At the same time, demand for chips used in electronic devices such as laptops had spiked, as more people were forced to work remotely.

As auto sales rebounded sooner than expected in the latter part of 2020 vehicle automakers ramped up production and increased their chip orders, which led to widespread shortages for automakers in China, the U.S., Japan and Europe.

Analysts have called  the recent chip shortages "extreme" and predict that the supply chains won't stabilize until later this spring at the earliest.


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