As the shortage of semiconductor processing chips continues to impact the automotive and technology industries, several leading car makers have been forced to close production lines temporarily.
The crisis has been affecting companies for almost a year. It initially stemmed from increased demand for personal computers, tablets and smartphones at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which largely diverted supply away from the automotive sector, and now extends to Covid-related closures at semiconductor factories and international shipping ports.
Previously, Autocar reported that a number of manufacturers were urgently seeking to overhaul their components supply chains as a workaround to ensure continued production. Analysis company IHS Markit said at the time that the shortage could cut global production by nearly 700,000 vehicles year on year, although the final figure could be even higher.
Ford is still feeling the impacts of the semiconductor shortage, with the production of the Fiesta stalled from May to the middle of July. The firm’s Turkey-based factory, where the Transit is manufactured, was also closed over the summer, reports Fleet News.
Some Ford models are being shipped with some missing features, including sat-nav, with retrofits expected.
“I think the issue will be around for a while – probably until Q1 next year,” Ford fleet director Neil Wilson told Fleet News. “It will ease, but there will be challenges going forward and we have to be good at reacting to those challenges.”
The US firm previously cut production output at its Cologne plant as a result of Covid-related supply issues from a chip producer in Malaysia, the firm told Automobilwoche, sibling publication to Automotive News Europe.
According to the Automobilwoche report, management announced in a letter to employees that due to a lack of door modules, short-time work would be requested for the next two weeks, starting on 17 August. The Focus, produced at the same facility, is not affected by the cuts, the firm said.