COVID-19 has had a major impact on the automotive industry over the last several months, beginning with a two-month production shutdown for most major automakers. However, Ford has been back at 100 percent in terms of production for some time, but is now facing some difficulties getting parts from suppliers. That most recently delayed deliveries of the 2021 Ford Bronco, but now it’s leading to a temporary shutdown at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, too.
“We are pulling ahead a scheduled down week at Louisville Assembly Plant due to a supplier part shortage,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker told WDRB news in an email. “From what we are hearing right now, it’s (only) a week,” said Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862. The shutdown is scheduled to begin on January 11th and run through January 17th.
A total of 3,900 workers are employed at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, where the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair are produced. The Ford Kentucky Truck Plant, which is located nearby in Louisville, is not affected by this issue, which pertains to a semiconductor that goes into a brakes control module, Dunn said.
However, Herb Hibbs, the top union official at the Louisville Plant, told WDRB that in addition to COVID-19 based supplier and transportation issues, the winter weather is also slowing down the movement of parts.
“We are like a lot of big manufacturers struggling but have done well making it this long without any major hiccups, Hibbs said. “Our outstanding workforce is staying safe and doing the best they can to social distance. I commend the Ford material team for doing a great job and any means necessary to keep us running and letting us get our great products to our customers.”