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Five more Ford plants in US hit by global chip shortage

Five more Ford plants in US hit by global chip shortage
© Greg Nash

Ford on Wednesday announced a series of plant shutdowns at five more facilities in the U.S. due to an ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage.

As Reuters reports, the U.S. automaker detailed production cuts at its plants in Chicago, Flat Rock, Mich., and Kansas City. It will also be rolling out a reduced schedule at its Ohio assembly plant and has set downtime at one in Louisville, Ky.

Ford did not specify in its announcement how many vehicles would be lost due to the shutdowns, though it stated it would provide an update of how the global chip shortage has affected the company April 28.

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Reuters notes that Ford previously said in March that it expects the semiconductor shortage to cost between $1 billion and $2.5 billion.

Apart from the chip shortage, the company cited other issues such as a fire at the Renesas Electronics Corp’s chip-making factory in Japan and the severe winter storms that hit Texas earlier this year as reason for the shutdowns, Reuters reports.

The chip shortage has caused several automakers around the world to cut production for the past several months, and industry leaders have warned that the shortage could continue for several more.

Fellow U.S. automaker General Motors announced last week that it would be halting production at several North American production plants as well due to the semiconductor chip shortage. A GM spokesperson told The Hill that the closures will affect the company's factories in Tennessee, Michigan and Mexico.

A bipartisan group of more than 70 congressional lawmakers called on President Biden this week to support funds for semiconductor research and manufacturing in light of the shortage. They specifically cited concerns on keeping up with China, describing the need to stay competitive as a “national security priority.”

“China and the rest of the world is not waiting, and there's no reason why Americans should wait," Biden said in response to the letter. "We're investing aggressively in areas like semiconductors and batteries. That's what they're doing and others; so must we."