Ford Motor's production in Europe will continue to be affected by the global semiconductor shortage until late in the second quarter, said the automaker's regional boss, Stuart Rowley.
The shortage will stop production at Ford's factory in Saarlouis, Germany, where it builds the Focus compact car, for five weeks Rowley told Automotive News Europe. "That is a huge impact on our operations," he said.
Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain, is the second worst hit, he said.
"We have taken significant downtime and lost production," Rowley said. He did not specify how much production has been lost.
Microchip shortages at Valencia affected production of the Kuga SUV, Mondeo midsize model and Galaxy minivan, he said.
Ford's factory in Cologne, Germany, home of the Fiesta small hatchback, was also impacted but to a "relatively minor" extent, Rowley said.
Ford has extended short-time work in the Cologne and Valencia plants, as well as in Craiova, Romania, where the company builds the Puma small SUV, according to Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.
Cologne will add three more days of short-time work in March, Craiova will add eight more days of short-time work while Valencia will add 14 extra days, Automobilwoche said, quoting a company spokesman.
The shortage coincides with reduced demand for new cars due to lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 in its two biggest European markets of Germany and UK.
Rowley expects microchip supplies to normalized in late spring.
"I think once we get to the second quarter, this issue will be behind us," he said.
Automakers across Europe have been hit by the shortage, which was caused by a combination of factors including a surge in demand for consumer electronics such as gaming devices.
Renault CEO Luca de Meo said he hoped to limit unit production losses to below 100,000 on an earnings call last week.
Renault has already temporarily halted production in factories in Morocco, Romania and France.
Analysts say the global production shortfall in the first half could reach 1 million units or more.
They expect that chip supplies to be restored in the second half and that most lost production will be recovered.