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Semiconductor chip shortage slows output at Chicago’s Ford plant

Two of three shifts will be idled for a week as the company deals with a lack of semiconductors.

The Ford plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave. as seen last May.
The Ford plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave. as seen last May.

The global shortage of semiconductor chips plaguing the auto industry has forced Ford to curtail operations at its Chicago assembly plant for a week.

The company confirmed Friday that it will idle two of three shifts at the plant, 12600 S. Torrence Ave. It will operate at reduced capacity the week of Feb. 1.

The move will reduce production of the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. The company said its hourly workers with at least a year of service and represented by the United Auto Workers get about 75% of gross pay while the plant is down.

“We are working closely with suppliers to address potential production constraints tied to the global semiconductor shortage and working to prioritize key vehicle lines for production, making the most of our semiconductor allocation,” a statement from Ford said.

The Chicago plant has 5,300 hourly workers.

Ford has ordered a similar one-week shutdown at plants in Louisville, Kentucky and Oakville, Ontario. Besides the semiconductor shortage, it’s also working to fix a production problem in Oakville, the company said.

The Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair are made in Louisville. Oakville produces the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus.