Ford’s global vehicle production has been largely impacted by a number of supply chain constraints over the past year or so, with the semiconductor chip shortage presenting the biggest problem. That latter issue forced the closure of eight Ford assembly plants just this week, but it isn’t just supply chain problems affecting The Blue Oval at the. moment. Now, Ford engine production in Canada is being impacted by a blockade on the Ambassador Bridge that connects the U.S. to that country, according to Automotive News Canada.
A number of trucks drivers have blocked access to the Ambassador Bridge as part of protests that have been going on for some time now regarding Canada’s COVID-19 mandate for truckers. Those protests have now spilled over to the Ambassador Bridge, which is one of the busiest border crossings in the U.S., with around 7,000 trucks passing over the bridge each day and around 2.5 million per year, carrying over 25 percent of goods traded between the two countries worth around $100 billion.
This blockade is also causing problems for Ford engine production, as its Windsor-based facilities are idle today, though Unifor Local 200 President John D’Agnolo told Automotive News that the plants will be back up on Thursday. Currently, FoMoCo operates two engine plants in Canada, both located in Windsor, Ontario – the Ford Windsor Engine Plant, which builds the 6.8L Triton engine used in the Ford E-Series cutaway utility vehicle, and the Ford Essex Engine Plant, which builds the 5.0L Coyote V8.
For now, the Ambassador Bridge remains closed while authorities attempt to come to a peaceful resolution with protestors. On the U.S. side, authorities are instructing those headed to Canada to cross via the Port Huron, Michigan crossing. That detour will ultimately lead to delays, however, as it’s around 90 minutes north of the Ambassador Bridge, particularly as the global supply chain remains under tremendous pressure.