Automobile

Ford will idle both F-150 plants for 2 more weeks

DETROIT — Hours before it was set to unveil its F-150 Lightning electric pickup, Ford Motor Co. informed employees that both plants that build the gasoline-powered version — the nation’s bestselling vehicle — will be idled for two weeks as part of another round of production cuts.

In a memo to employees obtained by Automotive News and confirmed by Ford, the automaker said its Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan and the truck side of its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri will be idled the weeks of May 31 and June 7. They will also operate on a reduced schedule the week of June 14.

Additionally, Chicago Assembly, where workers build the Explorer and Aviator crossovers, will be down the week of May 31 and will be on a reduced schedule the week of June 7. Flat Rock Assembly in Michigan, where workers build the Mustang, will be idled the weeks of May 31 and June 7.

Hermosillo Assembly in Mexico, which builds the Bronco Sport, will be down the weeks of June 21 and June 28.

Louisville Assembly in Kentucky will be down May 31 through the week of June 28 and Oakville Assembly in Canada will be down May 31 through the week of June 21.

Ohio Assembly in Avon Lake will build only Super Duty chassis cabs and medium-duty trucks the week of May 31, and from June 7 through the week of June 14.

Ford executives have predicted the coming months will be the worst since the semiconductor shortage began. It expects to lose half of its typical production this quarter, and expects to lose a total of 1.1 million vehicles in 2021. The shortage will cost it $2.5 billion this year.

Ford’s plants have already faced significant downtime and its dealers are growing anxious as inventory dwindles.

The company for months has been parking partially-built F-150s and other models as they await the hard-to-find chips. At the end of the first quarter, Ford said it had about 22,000 vehicles partially built but missing components.

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