Ford slashes SUV and truck production due to chip shortage

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The lingering shortage is pausing 2 Ford facilities

In its long history, the current chip shortage, required to complete vehicle assembly, will be looked back upon as one of the worst non-war disruptions. Ford Motor is slashing production (again) of its profitable truck and SUV units, thanks once again to the global shortage of semiconductor chips that has wreaked havoc on the automotive industry for more than a year. Ford plans to cut production at two of its plants — one in Ohio and one in Kentucky.

Ford on Thursday confirmed production downtime next week for Ford Super Duty pickups and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs at a plant in Kentucky and medium-duty trucks and chassis cabs at a plant in Ohio. Ford has suffered one of the biggest impacts from the parts shortage, which has caused sporadic plant shutdowns across the industry.

The fact that Ford is cutting pickup and SUV production shows automakers continue to battle with the problem despite many in the industry expecting a gradual improvement in the supply of chips in 2022.

The chip shortage dates to early 2020, when Covid caused rolling shutdowns of vehicle assembly plants. As the facilities closed, chip suppliers diverted the parts to other sectors such as consumer electronics, which weren’t expected to be as hurt by stay-at-home orders.

Automakers are dealing with the chip shortage in addition to other supply chain constraints and emerging impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that could further strain supplies.

The production cuts also come after Ford unveiled plans to split its electric vehicle and legacy auto businesses into two units, in a bid to streamline and boost its EV output.

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