The microchip shortage has forced Ford to curtail production at six manufacturing sites, but, so far, there’s been only a glancing blow in Chicago.
The main impact is on one of the company’s biggest moneymakers, its F-150 pickup. Ford ordered a two-week shutdown in Dearborn, Michigan, and a one-week closure in Kansas City, both of which produce the F-150. They take effect the week of April 5.
On Chicago’s South Side, Ford has ordered only a slight pullback starting April 5. For one week, it’s canceling a “super shift,” the term for overtime work when the plant would otherwise be closed.
About 5,800 people are employed at the Chicago Assembly Plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave., where the products are the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor SUV. It endured a slowdown in operations in February due to the chip shortage.
Ford said it would shut its plant in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, the weeks of April 12, 19 and 26. It makes the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. The company also said it will idle the Louisville factory the weeks of April 12 and 19. It turns out the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair.
In addition, the plants in Dearborn, Kansas City and Avon Lake, Ohio, will have super shift shutdowns for various weeks through June.
Automakers are struggling with microchips because suppliers have diverted production to more lucrative accounts in electronics, a segment seeing a buying surge from customers stuck at home because of the pandemic.
Stellantis, owner of the Jeep brand, has shut the factory in Belvidere, near Rockford, until early to mid-April. General Motors and Nissan have recently idled some plants.