The ongoing fallout from the microchip shortage has forced The Blue Oval to shutter many of its facilities this year, a situation that shows no signs of abating, given the recent spate of production cuts that Ford Authority reported earlier today. In addition to the new round of cuts that will impact Ford Mustang, Ford Transit, and Ford Super Duty inventory in North America, buyers in Europe will have a hard time finding the Ford Fiesta at dealers, as the automaker recently announced that the Ford Cologne Assembly Plant will be idled through the entire month of October, according to Automotive News Europe.
The plant, which solely builds the Ford Fiesta, will not produce any vehicles through October 31st, 2021 and could remain idle into November. The setback comes just after the reveal of the refreshed 2022 Ford Fiesta, which boasts significant tech upgrades, exterior tweaks, and a torque boost for the performance-oriented Ford Fiesta ST. But activity around the plant will almost certainly continue, as the push toward electrification will eventually transform the site into the Ford Cologne Electrification Center. While it is currently unclear what impact the transformation will have on Ford Fiesta production, the redesigned plant is slated to produce vehicles that will utilize the Volkswagen MEB platform, as part of the region’s pivot away from internal combustion vehicles. Ford of Europe is intent on switching completely over to battery-powered vehicles by 2030.
In addition to simply pausing production at its assembly plants, Ford has also reconfigured certain vehicle lineups in ways that reduce their reliance on microchips. As Ford Authority recently reported, the Ford Puma model range now features “Design” equipment offerings, which feature less electronics, and a lower price tag. The Ford Puma has supplanted the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus to become the most popular Ford in Europe.