The global shortage of chips is forcing the US auto company Ford to temporarily suspend production. The belts in the plants in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, and in Cologne have been stopped for a short time, the company said. In addition, certain missing parts would initially be left out when producing two models.
These vehicles would be put aside until the parts were available and could be re-installed. These are the two highly profitable models F-150, a pick-up, and the SUV Edge. There are thousands of affected vehicles, said a spokeswoman. In addition to chips, other components were also missing due to the winter storm in the USA.
In the Cologne plant, where the Ford Fiesta is built, the production lines were already at a standstill from March 1st to 16th. According to the company, work will also rest there on March 22nd. Some layers are being painted in Lousiville.
The cost of halting production is already included in the automaker’s forecast: it says the chip shortage could reduce profits by up to $ 2.5 billion this year.
Bottleneck also has to do with Corona
The unfamiliar bottlenecks also have something to do with the pandemic. People around the world spend more time on the couch or at their desks at home. That is why the demand for televisions, cell phones, game consoles and notebooks is skyrocketing. But that’s only part of the explanation – and even the smaller one.
The main reason is a particular defect. A central resource for the electronics of the 21st century is becoming scarce: silicon chips and their preliminary products. Small components, some only the size of a fingernail, which are built into more and more devices.
The exploding demand for so-called semiconductors that are in chips or sensors has not only caused some consumer frustration for a long time, but has also caused tangible economic upheavals, also for the automotive industry. Volkswagen was therefore forced to cut production before that.