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Chip shortage forces Ford to halt production at multiple plants

Chip shortage forces Ford to halt production at multiple plants
© Greg Nash

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced cuts to production at six of its North America manufacturing plants as the automotive industry continues to be plagued by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. 

The company’s production changes include overtime shift cancellations, as well as temporary production halts for up to three weeks from April through June, CNBC reported

Ford’s production at its truck plant in Dearborn, Mich., will be down for two weeks in April, and truck production at its Kansas City plant will halt for one week, according to the The Wall Street Journal

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CNBC noted overtime shifts will also be cancelled for various lengths of time from now until June, with plants in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Ontario, Canada also impacted. 

Ford attributed the additional downtime at its plants to the ongoing shortages in chip supplies, which led the company last week to announce it was cutting output of the Transit van at its Kansas City, Mo., plant due to the shortage.

CNBC reported that Ford previously noted it was expected to lose anywhere from $1 billion to $2.5 billion in 2021 as a result of the shortage of semiconductors, which are critical for vehicle components like infotainment systems, power steering and brakes.

The Journal and CNBC noted that Ford on Wednesday said it would “provide an update on the financial impact of the semiconductor shortage” when it reports its first quarter earnings on April 28.

The Hill has reached out to Ford for additional information on Wednesday’s production cuts. 

Ford in February announced that as a result of the chip shortage, it would have to cut production of its F-150 pickup truck, the country’s top-selling vehicle. 

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The chip shortage has impacted the entire automotive industry as a whole in recent months, and General Motors last week said that it was extending production cuts at plants in North America, including assembly locations in Missouri and Michigan. 

“GM continues to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” GM spokesperson David Barnas said in a statement to The Hill at the time. 

“GM has not taken downtime or reduced shifts at any of its full-size truck or full-size SUV plants due to the shortage,” Barnas added.