Ford pauses production in Europe again on chips shortage

Ford is pausing production at nearly all its car plants in Europe for several weeks due to a shortage of microchips.

“We had already planned short-time work for several plants due to the semiconductor situation. Since the situation is not easing, we have now decided to schedule longer production breaks,” a Ford spokesman told Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.

The Fiesta plant in Cologne, Germany, will stop producing vehicles until early July except for one week at the end of June, the spokesman said.

Short-time working will take place at the Cologne plant from May 3 to June 18 and from June 30 to July 9. The plant vacations will start immediately afterwards, so production will not start again until August 16.

Factories in Saarlouis, Germany (Focus), Valencia, Spain (Mondeo, S-Max, Galaxy) and Kocaeli, Turkey (Transit, Transit Custom) are also affected.

The Saarlouis plant will have short-time working from May 3 to 18 and from May 25 to June 7. The plant vacation in Saarlouis is scheduled for July 26 to August 23, 2021.

“The situation on the global semiconductor market remains tense and, according to all estimates, will continue to be so in the coming months, resulting in supply bottlenecks,” Ford said.

The company said it planned to make up for lost production “as best we can” and would prioritize vehicles already ordered by customers.

The stoppages are especially disheartening because the company is seeing a noticeable increase in incoming orders, the spokesman said.

Ford had already reduced production in April at some European plants because of a lack of semiconductors.

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