Ford to curtail F-150 production as chip shortage hits truck plants

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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. next week will be forced to curtail production of its best-selling, most profitable vehicle due to an ongoing chip shortage.

The automaker told Automotive News Thursday that its Dearborn Truck Plant will drop to one shift from three the week of Feb. 8, while the truck side of its Kansas City Assembly Plant will drop to two shifts from three. The two facilities produce the F-150 pickup, which is the nation’s best-selling vehicle and has long been Ford’s main profit driver.

Both sites are expected to ramp back up to three shifts the following week, according to Ford Spokeswoman Kelli Felker.

The timing is especially problematic for Ford as it ramps up production and deliveries of its recently-redesigned F-150, which went on sale late last year. Although it does not break out F-150 sales specifically, F-Series pickup line sales fell 5.5 percent in January, Ford said Wednesday.

The chip shortage has been upending the industry for weeks, and its effects could drag into the third quarter, according to IHS Markit. Ford has already cut production at multiple facilities, and General Motors yesterday announced production cuts to four plants. Volkswagen Group, Subaru Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Stellantis have also had to cut vehicle production.

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Saurabh Shukla

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