So far, Ford has done everything it can to overcome the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips without harming its most anticipated new crossover. The revived Ford Bronco has already been delayed due to problems with suppliers, and therefore, the first deliveries have shifted to this summer. So far, everything is going according to schedule.
What has changed is that the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant, which houses the Bronco and Ranger mid-size pickups, will be closed from May 17-30. The two-week shutdown was not part of a previously planned shutdown of several other North American plants that is still on track.
These factories include Chicago Assembly, Flat Rock and Kansas City, where the Explorer, Mustang and F-150 are built, respectively. The Ohio assembly plant in Avon Lake will only produce Super Duty Chassis and Medium Duty trucks until May 17 and will be completely closed next week. Kansas City is also building a future electric van, the E-Transit, and will be in one shift from May 31 to June 13 to complete early assembly.
Despite the downtime of the Bronco plant, Ford wants customers to understand that initial sales will not be affected. It is likely that Ford made a strategic decision to reroute these critical chips from other assembly plants to the Bronco plant specifically to meet the summer timeline. Less popular cars have been sacrificed until chip shipments can be adjusted.
Still, thousands of brand new Ford F-150s sit in huge parking lots outside Detroit. From the outside, they look ready to hit the road, but they all lack the chips that power systems like navigation and Bluetooth. Hopefully, the downtime of the Bronco plant will be limited to two weeks and no more. Unfortunately, the chip crisis may not end until early next year.
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