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Chip shortage idles Chicago’s Ford plant into August

The automaker also shuts down or trims schedules at seven other manufacturing sites.

The Ford plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave. in May 2020.
Ford is idling its assembly plant in Chicago for four weeks in July.
Getty

Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, which was closed much of the spring, will be idle for almost all of July as the company deals with a semiconductor shortage that has limited auto production.

Ford said Wednesday the plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave. will be down for four weeks beginning Monday. It said the plant will run two shifts the week of Aug. 2. It reopened in early June, said spokeswoman Kelli Felker.

“While we continue to manufacture new vehicles, we’re prioritizing completing our customers’ vehicles that were assembled without certain parts due to the industrywide semiconductor shortage,” a Ford statement said. “This is in line with our commitment to get our customers their vehicles as soon as possible and consistent with our forecasted supply.”

About 5,800 people work in Chicago to build the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor SUV. During a shutdown, employees who belong to the United Auto Workers get 75% to 80% of full pay, counting state unemployment benefits, according to the union.

Ford also is shutting down or reducing shifts at seven other plants in the United States, Mexico and Canada. They are in Dearborn and Flat Rock, Michigan; two in Louisville, Kentucky; Claycomo, Missouri, outside Kansas City; Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; and Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

Separately, Ford said it will close a plant in Wayne, Michigan, the weeks of July 5 and 26 due to an unrelated parts shortage. The plant produces the Ford Ranger pickup.

The lack of computer chips needed to work electronic systems has had wide-ranging effects, driving up prices for new and used vehicles.

Stellantis, owner of the Jeep brand, said its plant near Rockford in Belvidere, Illinois, has been closed since March 29 except for one week when it ran a partial shift. A spokeswoman said the plant will be down through July 26. It produces the Jeep Cherokee and employs 3,600 people.