Ford is resorting to desperate measures to keep production of the pickup and crossover rolling.
The global semiconductor chip shortage is still causing headaches for carmakers around the world. After halting production of the Chevrolet Camaro to prioritize chips for high-volume models like the Chevrolet Silverado, General Motors announced this week it will build some 2021 full-size trucks without a fuel management module, which will affect the fuel economy by one mpg. Now, Ford is resorting to similar desperate measures to keep production of the popular F-150 truck and Edge SUV chugging along.
Ford said that shortages of the semiconductor chip and another part, caused by recent snowstorms in the US, have forced the automaker to build the F-150 and Edge without them.
These models will then be held for several weeks until they can be completed and shipped to dealerships once the parts are available and quality checks have been made. Thousands of Ford models will be affected by this setback.
The F-150 and Edge will be assembled without some electronic modules that operate the windshield wiper motors and infotainment systems, but Ford did not confirm the suppliers of these affected parts. As a result of the shortage, Ford canceled the late shift on Thursday, March 18, and both shifts on Friday, March 19 at its Louisville Assembly Plant that assembles the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs.
Production will resume on short shifts on Monday, March 22 before full production resumes the next day. Ford's factory in Cologne, Germany, that builds the Fiesta has also been idled from March 1-16, and will be again on March 22. Last month, Ford reduced shifts at two plants that build the F-150. In the meantime, Ford will continue to prioritize chips for its best-selling models. This couldn't have happened at a worse time for Ford as the new F-150 has only been in production for a few months.
If it continues through the first half of 2021, Ford fears the chip shortage will affect the company's profits this year by $1 billion to $2.5 billion, even if Ford makes up the production shortfall in the second half of the year.