Ford to shutter some U.S. plants for weeks amid chip shortage

Ford is cutting production at eight North American plants as the automaker grapples with a shortage of semiconductors — the chips inside every vehicle. 

The stoppages affect the F-150, Mustang, Escape and Lincoln Nautilus vehicles, among other brands.

“The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect global automakers and other industries in all parts of the world,” the company said in a statement. “While we continue to manufacture new vehicles, we’re prioritizing completing our customers’ vehicles that were assembled without certain parts due to the industrywide semiconductor shortage.” 

Ford announced a number of operational changes as it seeks to adapt to the chip shortage:

  • The company’s Chicago Assembly Plant will be down for four weeks starting July 5 and will run only two shifts the first week of August. The Illinois factory produces the Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator vehicles, and employs about 5,800 people, according to Ford’s website. 

  • The Dearborn Truck Plant, which makes the bestselling F-150 truck, will run two crews for three weeks starting July 12. The Michigan facility employs 4,400 people. 

  • The Flat Rock Assembly Plant will be down for two weeks starting July 12. The Michigan facility produces Mustangs.

  • The Kansas City Assembly Plant will stop production of the F-150 line for two weeks starting July 12 and will stop production of Transit cargo vans for the week of July 19.

  • The Kentucky Truck Plant will close for one week starting July 12 and run reduced capacity for the following four weeks. The Louisville facility, which has 8,900 employees, produces F-250/F-550 Super Duty Trucks and the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator lines.

  • The Louisville Assembly Plant, which makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair, will run on a reduced schedule the week of July 19. The plant has about 4,100 workers.

Ford is also reducing production at its Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada, and at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Sonora, Mexico.

The company said that the Michigan Assembly Plant will be closed the week of July 5 and the week of July 26 “due to an unrelated part shortage.”

Ford has cut vehicle production several times this year to account for tight chip supplies. The automaker estimated in April that the shortage could cost it $2.5 billion this year. 

Earlier this week, General Motors told dealers that its Fairfax Assembly Plant, which has been closed since February due to the chip shortage, will remain closed until mid-August.  The Kansas City, Kansas, facility produces the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4.