Computer chip shortage forces Ford to extend downtime at some assembly plants

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Posted at 8:41 AM, May 06, 2021

Ford is extending the shutdowns at several of its assembly plants because of an ongoing global computer chip shortage.

The company has confirmed additional downtime at the following North American plants:

  • Chicago Assembly Plant, Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant F-150 and Transit lines, and Michigan Assembly Plant will be down the weeks of May 17 and 24. (In every case except Michigan Assembly, this is a continuation of previously announced down time)
  • Ohio Assembly Plant will continue to produce only Super Duty Chassis cabs and Medium Duty trucks through the week of May 17 and will be down the week of May 24
  • Kansas City Assembly Plant – Transit line – will operate on one shift the weeks of May 31 and June 7 to complete early builds of the E-Transit
  • Hermosillo Assembly Plant is down through the week of May 10
  • In addition, Kentucky Truck Plant will be down the weeks of June 7 and 14 to make plant modifications to prepare for the upcoming launch of the next-generation Super Duty

Ford says the extended shutdown will not affect the relaunch of its Bronco SUV, which officially goes on sale this summer.

A global semiconductor shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the slowdown in production of all electronic goods since earlier this year. But the chip shortage has hit the auto industry particularly hard.

Newer cars typically contain between 50 and 150 computer chips and aren't operational without all of them in place. In fact, Ford has been sending seemingly completed trucks off the line, but the chip shortage has been forced to move them to large parking lots across the country while they wait for more semiconductors to arrive.

This story was originally published Scripps station WXYZ in Detroit.