Ford and FCA forced to idle plants due to semiconductor shortage

A new report is making the rounds that Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have been forced to idle some production facilities due to a shortage of semiconductors. Ford has idled the Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky for a week, with plant managers taking a down period from later in the year to compensate. Meanwhile, FCA has idled its Brampton facility in Ontario, Canada, and one other site.

The other site is a mystery at this time. At the Louisville Assembly plant, Ford produces the Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs. FCA produces the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger at the Brampton Assembly plant. Exactly what sort of semiconductor shortage has forced the plant shutdowns is a mystery.

The report claims a Ford spokeswoman declined to identify the semiconductor supplier but did confirm the temporary idling of the plants. Ford and FCA aren't the first auto manufacturers to be forced to idle plants due to parts shortages. This has become common during the pandemic ravaging the world.

Previously Nissan idled plants, and Honda may be forced to idle some of its plants as well. Semiconductor shortages have impacted electronics manufacturers and manufacturers in other industries after production was stopped at facilities in China during the coronavirus pandemic. Production facilities in other countries have also seen shortages from reduced workers and plant shutdowns.

Nissan previously announced that it would reduce the production of the Note hybrid electric vehicle in Japan, but it's unclear what scale the reduced production will reach. The automotive manufacturing industry is trying to recover from the long shutdowns mandated by the coronavirus pandemic. During the shutdown, many of those manufacturing facilities turned to making medical products such as ventilators and masks to help support healthcare workers and those who were ill due to the pandemic.