Ford suspends more F-150 pickup, Explorer production due to microchip shortage

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday informed workers that it is extending downtime at key North American plants — including at one of two sites that build the top-selling F-150 pickup — between one and two weeks because of the ongoing chip shortage.

In a memo to employees obtained by Automotive News and confirmed with the company, Ford said the Chicago and Flat Rock, Mich., plants as well as both the F-150 and Transit van sides of its Kansas City, Mo., plant will be down the weeks of May 3 and 10.

Flat Rock, which builds the Mustang, and Chicago Assembly, which builds the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator crossovers, have been idled since the week of April 12. Kansas City has been idled since the week of April 19.

Oakville Assembly in Canada, where workers build the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus crossovers, will be down the week of May 3. It also has been idled since April 12.

Additionally, Ford said production at its Ohio Assembly Plant will be limited to Super Duty chassis cabs and medium-duty trucks the weeks of May 3 and 10, continuing limitations that began the week of April 19.

The company also noted that various powertrain and stamping plants would have to adjust their operating patterns to match what’s happening at the assembly plants they serve.

“As you build every vehicle you can for our dealers and customers, our teams behind the scenes are working hard to source additional parts,” John Savona, Ford’s vice president of manufacturing and labor affairs, said in the memo. “The situation is constantly changing, and we appreciate your understanding as we work through this together.”