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Color Me at a Loss – Japan Crisis Leaves Ford Short of Paint

Maker curbing orders for several popular shades.

by on Mar.25, 2011

Ford will not take orders for three shades of red, and for Tuxedo Black, on a number of models, including Fiesta.

Automakers are facing increasingly problems due to the natural disaster that struck Japan two weeks ago, resulting in damage to a yet-unknown number of Japanese automotive parts plants.  But while some makers are already curbing production due to shortages of electronic engine controllers, plastic parts and rubber products, Ford Motor Co. is telling its dealers it won’t be able to take orders for some of its most popular car colors.

Blame a shortage of pigments specifically produced in the Northeast of Japan – where the quake and subsequent tsunami did the most damage.  The maker says it is running out of the necessary ingredients for Tuxedo Black and three different shades of red.

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That will force customers to either wait or shift to alternate colors for a variety of models including the Ford Explorer, Taurus, F-150, Fiesta and Expedition, as well as the Lincoln Navigator and MKZ, according to the automaker.

The maker says it has enough of the pigments on hand for current orders but doesn’t want to keep new buyers waiting should its Japanese supplier not be able to get back up and running anytime soon.  In the meantime, said a spokesman, “We’re working to find alternative suppliers.”

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