During a week in which it acknowledged the importance of F-150, Ford Motor Co. also halted the assembly lines at two critical plants that build pickup trucks due to semiconductor issues, Ford said.
The automaker noted the global semiconductor shortage continues to affect global automakers as well as other industries, Ford officials said in an email detailing upcoming production stoppages, plants in Flat Rock and Dearborn, Michigan as well as Chicago; Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City, Missouri; and Avon Lake, Ohio are facing shut downs. Assembly plants in Canada and Mexico are facing temporary closures too.
Ford said the Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant’s truck line will be down the weeks of May 31 and June 7 and will operate on a reduced schedule the week of June 14.
CEO Jim Farley reiterated that the company is heading into the worst period for the problem during a chat with reporters after the public debut of the new F-150 Lightning Wednesday night. He confirmed that production cuts were coming and that dealers were likely to face product shortages.
Truck line stoppages hurt profits
The cuts in truck production are particularly painful for Ford, which relies on the F-150 to bolster its bottom line. The new round of cuts also could pose a threat to the perennial leadership in pickup sales. General Motors and Stellantis also have cut truck production, although GM is still building trucks then holding them in storage as the company waits for semiconductors needed to finish the vehicles.
Ford also said it was closing SUV plants in the face of the continuing shortage of semiconductors. The shortage is expected to cut Ford’s profits by as much as $2.5 billion this year, according to the financial guidance the company presented at the end of the first quarter.
The Chicago Assembly Plant will be down the week of May 31 and will operate on a reduced schedule the week of June 7, the company noted.
Production cuts spread across the company
The updated production schedule released by Ford indicated that the Chicago Assembly plant would be down the week of May 31 and operate on reduced schedule the week of June. Other cuts include:
- Flat Rock Assembly Plant will be down the weeks of May 31 and June 7;
- Hermosillo Assembly Plant will be down the weeks of June 21 and 28;
- Louisville Assembly Plant will be down the weeks of May 31 – week of June 28;
- Oakville Assembly Complex will be down the weeks of May 31 – week of June 21; and
- Ohio Assembly Plant will produce only Super Duty Chassis cabs and Medium Duty trucks the weeks of May 31, June 7 and 14
“Our teams continue making the most of our available semiconductor allocation and will continue finding unique solutions to provide as many high-quality vehicles as possible to our dealers and customers,” Ford said in a statement.
Ford isn’t alone
The problem certainly isn’t one Ford is experiencing alone. Nissan is cutting production of its Frontier and Titan pickups as well as the Altima next month. The company’s already engaged similar measures for those vehicles this month. Additionally, General Motors is stopping production of the Chevrolet Corvette due to a parts issue, according to Automotive News, but it’s unclear if it’s a semiconductor issue or some other component.