It won't be the only model suffering a setback.
Automakers are currently trying to navigate unchartered waters. The global semiconductor chip shortage for vehicles, which can be traced back to carmakers canceling their orders to suppliers as a result of pandemic-forced factory closures, is expected to drag on through most of 2021, if not longer. Ford has already been forced to build its popular F-150 full-size truck without a fuel management module to help conserve chip stocks, while Chevy has halted Camaro production entirely. The Ford Mustang will soon be next.
The Detroit News has confirmed with a Ford spokesperson that the Flat Rock assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan - where the Mustang is built - will be shut down (hopefully temporarily) during the weeks of May 3 and May 10.
The shutdown will affect others plants as well, including the Chicago Assembly that builds the Explorer, Police Interceptor, and Lincoln Aviator, and Kansas City, one of two homes of the F-150. It also builds the Transit commercial van. During this time, the Avon Lake, Ohio plant will only manufacture Super Duty cabs and medium-duty trucks.
Only last week, Flat Rock and Chicago were shut down but managed to briefly start up again until next month's closure. Ford's American plants aren't the only ones suffering these days. Facilities in Romania, Spain, Germany, and Turkey are all expected to experience downtime and/or reduced shifts in the next few weeks.
"Ford's North American plants continue to be affected by the global semiconductor shortage - along with automakers and other industries around the world," John Savona, Ford's VP of manufacturing and labor affairs, wrote in a memo sent to employees. "As you build every vehicle you can for our dealers and customers, our teams behind the scenes are working hard to source additional parts."
To give you a clearer understanding of just how bad the semiconductor chip shortage is damaging global automakers, AlixPartners, a global consulting firm, estimates the entire industry could lose an estimated $61 billion this year alone. That's what happens when around 2.5 million vehicles can't be fully assembled. For now, Ford has not extended the Mustang and other plant downtimes beyond those two weeks in May but don't be surprised if this ultimately happens.