Image: Ford F-150. Source: Ford Motor
DETROIT (Reuters) -Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it will idle production of its highly profitable F-150 pickup truck at a plant in Michigan through Sunday due to the global semiconductor chip shortage.
Ford and other automakers have stressed they are trying to protect production of its most profitable vehicles, but the loss of even some full-sized pickups shows the shortage has hit Ford where it least wants.
Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan, plant will be idled from Friday through Sunday, and resume work on Monday. A spokeswoman declined to say how much volume would be lost.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker previously said it would assemble its flagship F-150 truck without certain parts and hold them for a “number of weeks” until they can be completed and shipped.
Ford said the latest action is part of its prior forecast that the chip shortage could shave $1 billion to $2.5 billion off its 2021 profits.
The chip shortage came as North American auto plants were shut for two months during the COVID-19 pandemic last year and chip orders were canceled, and as demand surged from the consumer electronics industry as people worked from home and played video games. That has now left carmakers competing for chips.
Semiconductors are used extensively in cars, including to monitor engine performance, manage steering or automatic windows, and in sensors used in parking and entertainment systems.
On Wednesday, Ford said it would cut output this week of the Transit van at its Kansas City, Missouri, assembly plant due to the shortage. Production of the flagship F-150 pickup at the plant is not affected.
Reporting by Ben KlaymanEditing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis.