Chip Shortage Forces Ford to Cut Output of Cash-Cow F-150 Again
Ford Motor Co. F-150 pickup trucks for sale at a Ford Motor Co. dealership in California. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Chip Shortage Forces Ford to Cut Output of Cash-Cow F-150 Again

Ford Motor Co. will cut production of its most profitable product, the F-150 pickup, next week at two U.S. factories because of a shortage of semiconductors.

This is the second time Ford has reduced output of its best-selling model due to chip constraints that are roiling the global auto industry and could cost carmakers $61 billion this year. Ford is in the midst of launching a redesigned version of the truck that is critical to its finances.

The automaker said Thursday it will slow its Dearborn assembly plant to one shift from three and its Kansas City factory to two shifts from three. Ford said it expects each to resume full, three-shift production February 15.

In late January, Ford shortened and cut shifts at the two F-150 factories over two days.

The company also cut shifts this week at its Explorer sport-utility-vehicle plant in Chicago and idled a Louisville SUV factory. In addition, it shuttered an Ontario factory this week in part due to a lack of chips. All three facilities are slated to return to full output Feb. 8, Ford said.

“We are working closely with suppliers to address potential production constraints tied to the global semiconductor shortage and working to prioritize key vehicle lines for production,” the automaker said in an emailed statement.

Production workers at the plants receive about 75% of their gross pay from a combination of union benefits and government unemployment assistance while they’re laid off.

Ford is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings Thursday after the market closes.

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