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Ford to shut some North American plants due to chip shortage

Ford Motor said on Wednesday that several of its North American factories will be closed for a few weeks in July and August as the global shortage of semiconductors continue.

The supply crisis would cost it $2.5 billion this year and halve automobile production in the second quarter, Ford had said in April.

“While we continue to produce new vehicles, we’re prioritizing completing our consumers’ vehicles that were assembled without certain parts due to the industry-wide semiconductor shortage,” Ford said in a statement.

The automaker said its Chicago assembly plant, which makes the Explorer sport utility vehicles (SUVs), is set to be closed from the week of July 5 to the week of July 26. The plant will operate two shifts during the August 2 week.

The automaker said it would also put a stop to the production line for one of its best-selling vehicles, the F-150 pickup truck, at its Kansas City assembly plant for some weeks.

Ford’s Michigan assembly plant that started shipping its Bronco SUVs in recent times will be down for two weeks in July given the shortage of certain auto parts, the automaker said, adding that this was not related to the chip shortage.

The chip shortage, which has hit automakers worldwide, emerges from a confluence of factors as automakers, which closed plants for two months during the coronavirus pandemic last year, rival against the sprawling consumer electronics industry for chip supplies. A factory fire suffered by Japanese chipmaker Renesas this year is also cited as a reason behind the chip shortage.

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