The semiconductor chip shortage is rearing its ugly head again.
Due to the ongoing pressures of the semiconductor shortage, Ford is subjecting a number of its cars to a production halt at its Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and Mexico plants. This will affect the Ford Bronco, Ranger, Explorer, Mustang Mach-E, F-150, and Lincoln Aviator. Transit production at its Michigan and Missouri plants will also be downscaled.
"The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect Ford's North American plants - along with automakers and other industries around the world," said the automaker. "Behind the scenes, we have teams working on how to maximize production, with a continued commitment to building every high-demand vehicle for our customers with the quality they expect."
This comes as a crushing blow for the brand when you consider that its new range of products is in high demand from consumers both in its local and international markets. As something of a means to alleviate production pressure, Ford's dealer network was strong-armed into culling its configuration variations by 80% so that the brand could focus on constructing cars with the most popular options.
A letter sent to its dealers called this "inventory farming" and aims to reduce the amount of stock sitting on the floor. This action would provide peace of mind for both the dealer and the manufacturer as it is likely to improve profitability and speed up the flow of inventory, but consumers will get the short end of the stick as they will no longer be able to select cars that have been specified to their exact preferences.
Late last year, it was reported that Ford had got into a non-binding partnership with GlobalFoundries for the procurement of semiconductors. The latter company announced it would be increasing its output thanks to an expansion which would cost it $6 billion. This collaboration will also see the two companies devise new solutions for chip production as future products will become more reliant on the scare part.
President Biden has recognized this crisis and wishes to combat the country's reliance on importing semiconductors from Asia. To do this, he has made an official plea to congress for a bill that will fundraise $52 billion for local chip production. It's understood that a good number of Congress members are keen on the idea.