Ford closed its F-150 pickup truck assembly plant due to lack of natural gas

Ford closed its F-150 pickup truck assembly plant due to lack of natural gas

Ford has temporarily closed the F-150 pickup truck assembly plant in Kansas City, USA due to a historic winter storm that pushed America into a shortage of natural gas.

The temporary closure of the aforementioned automobile manufacturing and assembly plants is just a drop of water for Ford and many automakers in the US. Photo: AFP

“To reduce the use of natural gas – an important source of heating fuel for homes, we decided to stop working for a week, starting from the day of the meeting,” CNN reported recently reported by Ford. 13/2 “. According to this announcement, Ford is expected to return to normal service on February 22.

About 200 million people are on alert because of extreme weather as historic winter storms are sweeping the United States with record-breaking temperatures of minus 35 degrees Celsius in some places. Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin predicts that, after having heavily impacted Texas and Oklahoma states, winter storms will sweep through the Northeast region by the end of February 16 with heavy snowfall and road damage. ice.

Oil and natural gas prices in the US soared this week due to winter storms disrupting production in the Permian Oil Basin. According to the latest update, the price of natural gas on February 16 increased by 5%.

Other automakers in the US are also affected by winter storms. General Motors on Feb. 16 confirmed that it had canceled the first shift at four car factories because of severe winter weather and not a lack of natural gas. Four General Motors factories are located in Spring Hill City, Tennessee; Fort Wayne and Bowling Green, Kentucky; Arlington, Texas. For the second shift at the above plants, General Motors will decide to adjust by the end of February 16 (US time), depending on the weather conditions.

Stellantis, the new brand of General Motors that was formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, also confirmed the plant shutdown in the city of Toledo, Ohio due to extreme weather.

Meanwhile, Toyota said it canceled the first shift at car factories in five states, including: Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia; and delayed one production shift in the state of Alabama.

Nissan confirmed it had stopped operations at two factories in Tennessee and another in Mississippi.

The temporary closure of the aforementioned car manufacturing and assembling factories is just a drop of water for Ford and many American automakers, because the real problem that threatens car manufacturers is lack of supply. chips cause their production to stall.

Earlier this month, Ford estimated that expected production in the first quarter of 2021 would drop by 10-20% and if the chip design persisted in the first half of the year, Ford’s full year 2021 profits would “evaporate” from 1 – 2.5 billion USD. And General Motors estimates profit in 2021 can “fly” 1.5 – 2 billion USD due lack of chips.

Since the beginning of last year, automakers have continuously cut chip orders because production in some factories was suspended due to the Covid-19 epidemic and both sales and output declined. This unintentionally led electronics manufacturers to benefit from the oversupply of chips and record record sales.

When the Covid-19 epidemic showed signs of subsiding, the US and global auto markets recovered faster than forecast, causing automakers to fail to turn their hands and fall into a shortage of chips for production.

According to CNN, the lack of chips causes automakers to shift their priority to chips for the best-selling and most profitable products, for example, pickup trucks and large SUVs. For Ford, the F-150 pickup is the “golden chicken”. Up to this point, at the Ford automobile assembly plant in Kansas City, the production line of commercial Transit vehicles has not yet closed.

Meanwhile, General Motors’ Fairfax Assembly auto assembly plant in Kansas City is suspended at least until mid-March due to a lack of chips. The factory specializes in assembling small SUVs such as the Cadillac XT4 and the Chevrolet Malibu sedan.

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