Automobile

Ford to further reduce F-150 production, idle Ky. plant amid chip shortage

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. will temporarily reduce output of the nation’s bestselling vehicle — the F-150 pickup — at its Dearborn Truck Plant just days after President Joe Biden is expected to visit a new electric vehicle center nearby as the semiconductor shortage continues to impact production.

The Dearborn, Mich., plant will fall to one shift from three the week of May 24 as a result of the worsening chip shortage. Ford’s other F-150 plant, Kansas City Assembly, will be completely idled that week.

Additionally, Ford will idle its Louisville Assembly Plant, which builds the Escape and Lincoln Corsair crossovers, the week of May 24.

The Detroit Free Press first reported the downtime late last week.

The automaker expects the next few months to be the most difficult since the chip shortage began. It expects to lose $2.5 billion and 1.1 million units of production in 2021 amid what CEO Jim Farley has called the “greatest supply shock” he’s experienced. Dealers are struggling to keep their lots filled as inventory dwindles.

Any downtime for the F-150, however, is especially painful. It’s Ford’s flagship product, and studies have shown that the nameplate alone generates more revenue than major corporations such as McDonald’s, Nike, Coca-Cola, Visa and Netflix.

Biden plans to visit Ford on Tuesday to tour its new $700 million Rouge Electric Vehicle Center ahead of the company’s Wednesday reveal of the F-150 Lightning. The new center sits near the Dearborn Truck Plant on the site of the sprawling Rouge Complex.

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