Semiconductor scarcity hits Ford Bronco SUV, Ranger pickup manufacturing

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Ford is launching the 2021 Bronco with more than 200 factory-backed aftermarket accessories for more capability and personalization.

Source: Ford

DETROIT – Ford Motor confirmed Wednesday another round of production cuts due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips, saying it will impact early output of its highly anticipated Bronco SUV.

The automaker said it will extend shutdown times at several plants and add two weeks of downtime starting May 17 at its Michigan Assembly plant. The facility currently produces the Ford Ranger midsize pickup and early models of the relaunched Bronco, which was scheduled to start full production this summer.

The downtime won’t impact Ford’s plan to begin delivering the vehicles to dealers this summer, according to a company spokeswoman. Ford previously delayed the Bronco’s spring launch due to coronavirus-related problems in its supply chain.

Other than Michigan Assembly, Ford said it was adding shutdowns during that two-week timeframe at three other plants in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri. They produce a variety of vehicles ranging from the automaker’s Super Duty pickups to Ford Mustang.

The added shutdown times come a week after Ford CEO Jim Farley warned investors that the company expected to lose about 50% of its planned second-quarter production, up from 17% in the first quarter.

Ford now expects problems from the chip shortage to cut about $2.5 billion from its earnings in 2021, the high end of its previous guidance for the year.

Semiconductors are key components in automotive manufacturing, used in infotainment, power steering and braking systems, among other things.

As multiple plants shuttered last year due to Covid, suppliers directed semiconductors away from automakers to other industries, creating a shortage after consumer demand snapped back stronger than expected. The parts can contain several different sizes and types of chips.

Here’s a look at the most recent shutdown announcements provided by Ford:

  • Chicago Assembly Plant, Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant F-150 and Transit lines, and Michigan Assembly Plant will be down the weeks of May 17 and May 24.
  • Ohio Assembly Plant will continue to produce only Super Duty Chassis cabs and Medium Duty trucks through the week of May 17 and will be down the week of May 24.
  • Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri, which builds the Ford Transit van, will operate just one shift the weeks of May 31 and June 7 to complete early builds of the E-Transit.
  • Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico is down through the week of May 10.
  • In addition, Kentucky Truck Plant will be down the weeks of June 7 and 14 to make plant modifications to prepare for the upcoming launch of the next-generation Super Duty.

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