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Chip shortages force Ford to cut more vehicle production, but the automaker promises the summer delivery of the Bronco remains ‘on track’

Ford Motor Co. cuts contract workers effective immediately, ends buyout period for salaried employees

FINANCIAL NEWS

Chip shortages force Ford to cut more vehicle production, but the automaker promises the summer delivery of the Bronco remains ‘on track’

Tesla owner drives cross-country in his all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-ETesla owner drives cross-country in his all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.Sergio RodriguezRelentless supply chain challenges continue at Ford Motor Co., the Dearborn, Michigan, automaker that is launching major vehicles this year during a global pandemic and parts shortage.The company has announced more factory changes to accommodate the lack of semiconductor chips needed to operate everything from driving safety features and cameras to infotainment systems.Ford has the new Ford F-150 pickup, Mustang Mach-E, Bronco Sport and  Bronco, and the company is under tremendous pressure to fill orders as dealers clamor for the trucks and SUVs.John Savona, Ford vice president of manufacturing and labor affairs, released a memo to all manufacturing employees on Wednesday that said challenges in the company’s North American plants continue: Chicago Assembly Plant, Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant F-150 and Transit lines, and Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne will be down the weeks of May 17 and May 24. In every case except Michigan Assembly, this is a continuation of previously announced downtime.Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake will continue to produce only Super Duty Chassis cabs and Medium Duty trucks through the week of May 17 and be fully down the week of May 24.Kansas City Assembly Plant Transit Line will operate on one shift the weeks of May 31 and June 7 to complete early builds of the E-Transit.Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico is down through the week of May 10.Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville will be down the weeks of June 7 and June 14 to make plant modifications to prepare for the upcoming launch of the next-generation Super Duty.Individual powertrain and stamping plants will provide specifics around their operating patterns as they are confirmed.”Thank you for your continued flexibility and commitment to building high-quality vehicles for our customers and dealers, — and stay safe,” Savona wrote.Kelli Felker, Ford global manufacturing and labor communications manager, immediately texted the Free Press, “Important to note that Bronco remains on track to go on sale this summer.”The highly-anticipated Bronco is returning for the first time in 24 years.Manufacturers, including Ford, have been rationing their semiconductor chips for what they consider the highest priority vehicles. In the case of Ford, the company must choose between gold bricks as thousands of high-profit Super Duty trucks are parked in Sparta, Kentucky while thousands more are parked in lots around metro Detroit and not far from Kansas City Assembly in Claycomo, Missouri.Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler has confirmed the company had approximately 22,000 vehicles parked by the end of March awaiting parts.Ford has said the situation is expected to dramatically affect production in April, May and June, which depressed its stock price last week.Pat Gelsinger, the new CEO of Intel Corp., told Bloomberg on Sunday in advance of a “60 Minutes” interview airing that the semiconductor crisis likely won’t be resolved for a few more years. Contact Phoebe Wall Howard at 313-222-6512 or phoward@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid. Read more on Ford and sign up for our autos newsletter.


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