The chip shortage continues to wreak havoc on the auto industry.
The ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage has struck Ford once again. The Dearborn, Michigan F-150 plant, also home to the Ford F-150 Raptor off-road truck, will be shut down for two weeks beginning Monday, April, 5. Additional overtime shifts for the weeks of April 26, May 10, May 31, and June 21 have already been canceled even after the shutdown concludes on April 12.
Ford also confirmed five other North American plants continue to suffer chip shortages, including the Kansas City Assembly Plant where F-150s are also built, and the Chicago Assembly Plant, home of the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.
The latter facility remains up and running, but overtime shifts are currently out of the question. Another popular model, the Escape crossover and its more luxurious counterpart, the Lincoln Corsair, will have limited production at the Louisville, Kentucky plant for two weeks this month.
Only a month or so ago, few were aware of the importance semiconductor chips play in new vehicles. They control critical vehicle systems from navigation and Bluetooth, to even the windshield wipers. The chip shortage began as a result of the pandemic when it struck last year. Automakers were forced to shut down production completely due to lockdowns.
During that time, overseas chip suppliers mainly based in China made up for that loss of business by selling to electronics companies who saw an increase in demand for laptops, tablets, and smartphones. As automakers turned on their assembly lines once again late last summer and fall, the lack of chips was apparent but their regular suppliers didn't have products to sell.
The lack of production of Ford's longtime best-selling vehicle is a serious matter. It's still too soon to know the exact financial damage, but the company said it "will provide an update on the financial impact of the semiconductor shortage" during its first quarter earnings report on April 28.