Chip shortage forces Ford to cut SUV, truck production at two plants

An employee works on a Ford Motor Co. Super Duty Truck engine at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, Sept. 30, 2016.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ford Motor is once again cutting production of highly profitable trucks and SUVs due to an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips that has wreaked havoc on the automotive industry for more than a year.

Ford on Thursday confirmed production downtime next week for Ford Super Duty pickups and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs at a plant in Kentucky and medium-duty trucks and chassis cabs at a plant in Ohio.

The Detroit automaker has suffered one of the biggest impacts from the parts shortage, which has caused sporadic plant shutdowns across the industry.

The fact that Ford is cutting pickup and SUV production shows automakers continue to battle with the problem despite many in the industry expecting a gradual improvement in the supply of chips in 2022.

The chip shortage dates to early 2020, when Covid caused rolling shutdowns of vehicle assembly plants. As the facilities closed, chip suppliers diverted the parts to other sectors such as consumer electronics, which weren’t expected to be as hurt by stay-at-home orders.

Automakers are dealing with the chip shortage in addition to other supply chain constraints and emerging impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that could further strain supplies.

The production cuts also come after Ford unveiled plans to split its electric vehicle and legacy auto businesses into two units, in a bid to streamline and boost its EV output.

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