A global parts shortage has forced Ford Motor Co. to temporarily close Kansas City’s biggest factory for at least a month.
Nearly all of the 7,100 hourly employees at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo have been temporarily laid off since Monday. Ford this week said the closure would extend through the middle of May.
The Kansas City plant, Ford’s largest factory on the continent, makes the Transit line of fleet vans and the top-selling F-150 pickup. For a time, Ford had kept its pickup line operating while stopping the van line. But now, both are offline.
The Ford plant and the General Motors plant in Kansas City, Kansas, have both experienced major disruptions from the global shortage of semiconductors needed to manufacture new vehicles.
GM’s Fairfax Assembly Plant has been closed since Feb. 8. Company officials said the factory would remain down until at least through the week of May 10.
Computer chips, which power many of the technological features of today’s newer cars, have been in short supply throughout the pandemic, when sales of personal computers skyrocketed as millions of people transitioned to learning and working at home.