Ford Motor Co. is planning more downtime at five North American factories due to a global semiconductor shortage, further disrupting output of a popular sport-utility vehicle and the F-150 pickup truck, the company’s biggest moneymaker.
The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker said Wednesday that factories in Chicago, suburban Detroit and Kansas City, Mo., will be idled for an additional two weeks, extending the closures through May 14. An SUV plant in Ontario will also take an extra week of downtime in early May.
The latest shutdowns further curb production of the Explorer full-size SUV and Transit vans. Output of the F-150 also will remain limited. Work resumed Monday at Ford’s truck plant near its headquarters in suburban Detroit after a two-week pause, but production was halted at its second pickup plant, in Kansas City last week, and that site will remain down through May 10.
Since early this year, the semiconductor shortage has forced global auto makers to intermittently cancel factory shifts and shuffle production schedules to divert chips to high-priority vehicles, primarily pickup trucks and larger SUVs that generate bigger profits.
Still, Ford has been forced to cancel weeks of production at its two F-150 plants, crimping supply of a model that generates the bulk of its global profit.