2021 Auto News USA

Ford decides to build F-150s ‘without certain parts’ because of semiconductor shortage

Credits: www.courier-journal.com

The Ford F-150 will be built without key parts due to the global semiconductor shortage, the Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday.

“The global semiconductor shortage – combined with parts shortages created by the central U.S. winter storm in February – is prompting Ford to build F-150 trucks and Edge SUVs in North America without certain parts, including some electronic modules that contain scarce semiconductors,” the company wrote in a statement.

It continued: “Ford will build and hold the vehicles for a number of weeks, then ship the vehicles to dealers once the modules are available and comprehensive quality checks are complete.”

The Ford F-150 is built at Dearborn Truck in Michigan and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. The F-Series is the biggest revenue generator for the company.

The announcement is a major hit to the Dearborn, Michigan-based company, as the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1981. 

On Thursday, Ford said in a statement that if the shortage continues through the first half of 2021, it could adversely impact Ford’s adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) by between $1 billion and $2.5 billion.

The chip shortage will also hit one of the manufacturer’s Derby City facilities once again.

Ford canceled the night shift Thursday and both shifts Friday at the plant at the Louisville Assembly Plant at 2000 Fern Valley Road due to the shortage, said Kelli Felker, Ford’s global manufacturing and labor communications manager.

“Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair production is expected to resume Monday on short shifts, with full production scheduled to resume Tuesday,” Felker wrote in an email Thursday.

This marks the most recent in a series of temporary shutdowns at the Louisville Assembly Plant. Ford halted production at the plant for four weeks over the first two months of the year due to parts shortages — leaving 3,900 hourly workers at the plant without regular pay.

Ford is one of many automobile manufacturing giants, including Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen Group, to feel the pain of the slowdown of semiconductor production.

Semiconductors, or chips, are integral in automobile automation, digital connectivity and security, among other things — powering items from brakes to windshield wipers. As cars have continually modernized, the reliance on semiconductors also has increased.

Yet as car sales plummeted toward the start of the pandemic, autopart suppliers began to decrease their orders, Bloomberg reported. And as these suppliers looked to increase inventory toward the end of the year, they struggled — and continue to struggle — to obtain their desired amount from semiconductor manufacturers.