It's the second pause in as many weeks as Ford grapples with severe supply chain issues.
Ford will pause Mustang production next week due to issues from the ongoing microchip shortage. The challenges necessitate a week-long shutdown at the Ford Flat Rock plant in Michigan, which employs around 2,400 people.
Ford already paused Mustang production for 48 hours this week, so the additional shutdown next week means the automaker's assessment of the supply chain has changed. The Blue Oval last shut production in early April following an earlier closure in January. Mustang production has been particularly impacted, as Ford said it currently has tens of thousands of almost finished units sitting in storage awaiting chips before shipping.
The shutdown is obviously bad news for Ford, as it can't sell what it can't build, but it's also bad news for buyers. Beyond having to wait even longer than today's new "normal" times, Ford cut incentives on the cars this month and could repeat in May. The Mustang also frequently sees markups on dealers' lots, despite Ford's warning earlier this year, so buyers sometimes pay extra on top of the lack of incentives.
Despite issues building Mustangs, Ford still has plenty to be happy about with the existing model. It remains the best-selling sports car in the world, beating out rivals like the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Ford sold almost 70,000 Mustangs worldwide last year, dominating its American competitors and taking down others like the Mazda Miata and Nissan 370Z.
Pausing Mustang production makes sense to allow Ford to catch up with demand, but at some point, the whole operation will shift to making a different car. The current Mustang will depart at the end of the 2022 model year to make way for the new S650 Mustang in 2023, expected to sport a pair of hybrid engines and updated styling. We also know that Ford is prepping an all-electric Mustang in 2028, so the storied model line is about to embrace the future.
Ford's cross-town rival, General Motors, has had an equally difficult time with the chip shortage this year. GM paused production at its Fort Wayne, Indiana facility in early April, which impacted its full-size truck deliveries, and around the same time, it shut its Lansing Grand River Assembly plant. The shortage, which could last through this year, has lowered production output estimates by millions of units, causing new vehicle shortages and price increases.