Production remains halted or reduced at three of Ford Motor’s four main European car assembly plants because of the semiconductor shortage, the company said.
“As a result of the semiconductor supply issue affecting much of the global auto industry, we took downtimes in several plants already earlier this year,” Ford said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the situation and adjusting production schedules where needed.”
Production stoppages are likely to continue as chip crisis drags on, a source close to Ford of Europe said.
Globally the chip shortages will “continue to run through 2022, and could extend into 2023.” Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said on an earnings call at the end of October.
Other companies are more optimistic. Toyota said recently that it expects to make up for lost production in December.
Ford has lost about 375,000 units of production this year at its passenger car and van factories in western and eastern Europe through the first week of November, according to an estimate from Sam Fiorani, vice president global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, who tracks the effects of the shortage.
Lost production among all manufacturers was 2,016,790 in western Europe and 841,987 in eastern Europe, Fiorani said. Globally, about 10 million units have been lost this year, he said.
The current status of the four plants, according to Ford:
- Cologne, Germany: Production of the Fiesta small car is halted until Nov. 22.
- Saarlouis, Germany: Production of the Focus compact is set to resume on Tuesday, with additional down days on Nov. 19, Nov. 22 and Nov. 26.
- Valencia, Spain: Production restarted on Monday on vehicles including the Kuga compact SUV but down days totaling 33 days from September will continue to December.
- Craiova, Romania: Production at the plant, which builds the Puma and EcoSport small SUVs, has resumed in three shifts since the start of November.
Ford has focused on building its two most popular SUVs during the chip shortage. The Puma was Ford’s best-selling vehicle through September in the region, with sales up 49 percent to 117,218 units, according to data from JATO Dynamics. The Kuga was the No. 2 seller, up 50 percent to 83,371 units.
The popularity of the two SUVs came at the expense of Ford’s traditional best-sellers, the Fiesta and the Focus. Fiesta sales were down 21 percent to 78,800, while Focus sank 47 percent to 67,791, according to JATO.
Ford’s market share dropped one percentage point to 4.6 percent through September in Europe, according to data from industry group ACEA. The automaker was overtaken by both Skoda, which rose to 5.2 percent, and Toyota brand, which claimed a share of 6.1 percent, the data showed.