Lest we forget, the semiconductor chip shortage isn’t limited to just one part of the world – it’s a global problem that’s projected to cost automakers as much as $210 billion this year alone. Ford of Europe has struggled with issues related to this supply chain dilemma in recent months as well, pausing production of the Ford Fiesta at the Ford Cologne Assembly Plant for the entire month of October and introducing a pared-down Ford Puma model called the Design, all while Ford of Europe chairman Gunnar Herrmann recently admitted that he believes the shortage will persist into 2024. In the short term, Ford’s European arm continues to struggle mightily with the chip shortage, according to Automotive News.
Of Ford’s three main assembly plants in Europe, production remains halted at three of them – the Cologne Plant, which is expected to remain idle until November 22nd, the Ford Saarlouis Assembly Plant, where production of the Ford Focus is expected to resume this week with more stoppages planned for November 19th, 22nd, and 26th, and the Ford Valencia Assembly Plant, where Kuga production has resumed, though more idle time is expected through December. The Ford Craiova Assembly Plant resumed Ford EcoSport and Puma production at the beginning of November.
“As a result of the semiconductor supply issue affecting much of the global auto industry, we took downtimes in several plants already earlier this year,” Ford said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the situation and adjusting production schedules where needed.” The shortage will “continue to run through 2022, and could extend into 2023.” Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said on an earnings call last month.
In the first week of November alone, Sam Fiorani, vice president global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, estimates that Ford of Europe lost around 375,000 units of production, contributing to the region’s total of nearly 3 million units and the 10 million lost globally this year thus far.