Automakers continue to search for ways to deal with the semiconductor chip shortage impacting the industry on a global scale.
Most companies cut back production and shift available chip inventory to high-profit vehicles like pickup trucks. Seemingly no automaker is immune to the problem, including pricey luxury and sports car makers. Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and others all recently announced moves to deal with the shortage.
This week is not different with Daimler, Stellantis and Subaru reporting today they are taking new measures to account for current run of chip shortages, both in the U.S. and in other facilities around the world.
Ford plans to extend the shutdowns at plants that build its F-150, Ford Transit, Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, Ford Edge/Lincoln Nautilus and Ford Mustang. The Kansas City Assembly Plant that builds its top-selling F-150 and Transit commercial van suspend operations for the weeks of May 3 and 10. It’s currently closed down.
The Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which builds the Mustang, and Chicago plant that builds the Explorer and Aviator will also be down the first two weeks of next month. They’ve been down since the week of April 12, according to Automotive News.
The company plans to continue the reduced production of its Super Duty and medium-duty trucks at the Ohio Assembly Plant near Cleveland.
General Motors plans to move its Wentzville (Missouri) Assembly plant from three shifts to just two on a temporary basis starting the week of April 26. It’s cutting van production at the site. Production of its midsize pickups, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, are unaffected. The company just restarted operations at the facility last week after a two-week shutdown.
In what may be the most novel approach to dealing with the issue thus far, Stellantis is using analog speedometers in some its Peugeot models instead of the digital ones they would normally come equipped with.
The move affects only the Peugeot 308, Reuters reported, which are built in France. The brand sold about 98,000 of the 308 model last year. The 308 is being phased out this fall in favor of a new vehicle. The company may reduce the price as a result of the less advanced speedo.
Daimler plans to reduce hours for 18,500 employees and idle production at its Bremen and Rastatt plants in Germany. Bremen builds the C-Class as well as the GLC, GLC Coupe and the all-electric EQC. The Rastatt plant produces the A-Class hybrid as well as the A-Class sedan, B-Class and GLA compact SUV.
Japanese automaker Subaru Corp. revealed plans to temporarily suspend production at its plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The closure will be in place until the end of April, according to officials. It will affect about 15,000 vehicles for North America, officials noted. The company builds the Ascent, Outback, Legacy and Impreza at the site.