Several Ford plants will shuffle production or extend downtime through the rest of May.
This week, Ford informed employees that it would continue to idle several plants over the coming weeks, as a result of the ongoing global semiconductor shortage. As Automotive News reports, this downtime will go beyond plants that have already been struggling to keep up production, and will include facilities like the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne — the plant that builds the Ranger pickup and is tooling up to build the hotly anticipated Bronco SUV.
Production will go offline for two weeks later this month, during the weeks of May 17 and May 24. However, while that may be an alarming revelation given the Bronco has already been delayed, a Ford spokesperson told AutoNews that deliveries are on track to start this summer. That said, Ford also warned that the chip shortage would worsen before it improves, and the automaker estimated the shortage would ultimately cut its planned production in half during the second quarter. Chief financial officer John Lawler said during a conference call last week that the Blue Oval would produce 1.1 million fewer vehicles than it anticipated throughout all of 2021.
The Chicago and Flat Rock, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri plants will also be down the weeks of May 17 and May 24. Popular vehicles like the Explorer, Mustang, and F-150 come out of those plants. Kansas City Assembly will run on one shift the weeks of May 31 and June 7 to prepare the new E-Transit electric van.
As the chip shortage continues to vex car makers, new inventory on the ground will likely remain thin over the coming weeks.