For the most part, Ford’s vehicle production has been going rather well since a two-month shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic happened last spring. But the automaker has faced a few supplier-related challenges recently, which have delayed initial deliveries of the 2021 Ford Bronco and caused a temporary shutdown at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant. Now, a chip shortage is having the same effect on the Ford Chennai Assembly Plant in India.
The Ford Chennai Assembly Plant, where the Ford EcoSport is produced, is located in Maraimalai Nagar near Chennai, and originally closed on January 14th for what was supposed to be three days. However, the automaker recently extended the plant’s closure through January 24th.
“The Chennai plant was supposed to open on January 18th, Monday after the Pongal break, which has been extended for a week,” a Ford spokesperson told Times of India. “Semiconductor shortage is a serious issue and the team is trying to address the supplies.” The spokesperson added that production will be effected not only in Chennai but also at the Ford Sanand Assembly Plant, where the Ford Figo is produced.
The semiconductor chips – which are in short supply not just for Ford, but all other automakers at the moment – are used in infotainment systems and various other electrical components in vehicles. This is the same reason Ford was forced to temporarily shut down its Louisville plant – a lack of semiconductors used in the brake control module.
The semiconductor shortage in India is expected to impact production significantly, affecting both the automaker’s domestic and export market by around 50 percent. Ford produced roughly 5,000 vehicles at its two Indian plants in the month of December, and around 65,000 units from April through the end of 2020.