Stellantis pickups hit, Ford cuts production due to global chip shortage


FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Stellantis logo at the entrance to the company’s factory in Hordain, France, on March 3, 2021. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol

DETROIT (Reuters) – The impact of the global semiconductor shortage on the auto industry extended on Saturday, as Stellantis warned that its highly profitable pickup trucks were affected, while Ford Motor Co said it would cut US production further.

Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker, said it will build and maintain its Ram 1500 Classic pickups for final assembly at its Warren, Michigan and Saltillo, Mexico assembly plants. When the chips are available, the vehicles will be completed and shipped to dealers.

The action will last “several weeks,” said a Stellantis spokeswoman, who declined to reveal how many trucks would be affected.

The chip shortage, which has hit automakers globally, is due to a confluence of factors. Automakers closed North American plants for two months during the COVID-19 pandemic last year and canceled chip orders. Meanwhile, demand for chips emerged from the consumer electronics industry as people worked from home and played video games. Now automakers must compete for chips.

Automakers have repeatedly said they will prioritize chips for their most profitable vehicles, but the impact on the Ram, as well as previous reports from Ford and General Motors Co on the loss or impact of their production Full-size pickup trucks shows that the shortage is hurting businesses. where it hurts.

Stellantis Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said earlier this month that problems may not be fully resolved by the second half of 2021 as some auto rivals have faltered, describing supplies as the “big unknown” for revenue. in 2021.

Ford said Saturday it will idle its Ohio assembly plant next week, while its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville will only work two of three shifts. Both plants will return to full production the week of March 29.

The American automaker said the latest action is part of an earlier forecast that the shortage could hit 2021 earnings by $ 1 billion to $ 2.5 billion.

On Thursday, Ford said it would assemble its highly profitable flagship F-150 pickup truck as well as Edge SUVs in North America without certain parts and then keep them “for several weeks” until they can be completed and shipped, which would affect ” thousands. ”It also said it would halt production at the Louisville, Kentucky and Cologne, Germany plants.

Reporting by Ben Klayman; Edited by Daniel Wallis

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