Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has joined the list of automakers who are scaling back output following the recent shortage of semiconductors. The company says it is closing several of its North American factories in July and August. According to Ford’s management, pickup truck factories in Michigan, Kentucky, and Missouri will either stop or reduce production, indicating that the supply-chain troubles could take longer to ease. The worst news is that an Explorer plant in Chicago will not have any operations for a whole month.
The unfolding situation has affected not only business but also livelihood. Take, for example, the automaker’s Focus factory in Saarlouis, Germany. The lone manufacturing facility employs more than 5,000 workers who are likely to lose their jobs.
The Shortage Springs from the Lockdowns and Travel Restrictions
The emergence of COVID 19 has been a nightmare. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have only accelerated the problem of snapping more phones, game consoles, smart TVs, and laptops by housebound consumers. The car manufacturers are thus operating on surprisingly brisk business, and the fear is that the shortages may continue throughout the first half. Nonetheless, even though the situation is still very fluid, the executives of Ford and other automakers are optimistic that the chip shortage could start to ease in the third quarter.
The Acquisition of Electriphi to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Fleet Adoption
Ford has acquired Electriphi. The California-based charging management and fleet monitoring software for electric vehicles will offer commercial customers depot charging management services. This will be in line with the rising demand by consumers for all-electric vehicles, whereby charging management remains a hurdle.
According to Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannas, theirs is to enhance the experience for commercial customers and be a single-source solution for fleet-depot charging. Meanwhile, as this happens, Ford is preparing to launch the Transit van and F-150 pickup, the all-electric versions of two of the world’s most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles.