Another Mexican Headache for Ford
As both the United States and the country to its south grapple with the challenge of returning to normal amid a pandemic, Ford Motor Company faces another problem resulting from punting production over the Rio Grande.
Just as local laws aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus can stem the flow of essential engines, local protests can cut off the flow of everything.
As reported by Reuters, indigenous land rights protests have blockaded rail lines in the state of Sonora, near the Mexican-U.S. border. This, in turn, has stopped the flow of goods at two points of entry, isolating Ford’s Hermosillo assembly plant.
“The recent blockade of the rail network in the municipality of Guaymas, Sonora, has affected operations at our Hermosillo plant,” Ford told the outlet in an email. “Currently, we are facing a situation unrelated to us, wherein imports and exports have been affected.”
Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly, once home to the Mazda 323 and Mercury Tracer, is the build site for the upcoming Bronco Sport and the Blue Oval brand’s unibody pickup (expected to bow as the Maverick). According to Ford Authority, production of the retail-market Ford Fusions was expected to end on July 21st, meaning that the very last Ford midsize sedans could very well be blocked from reaching U.S. dealers. Sad!
Mexican news media claims the blockade, initiated by the Yaqui community, began 10 days ago.
This is the first thing I've heard about the Yaquis since the 1969 film "100 Rifles" that starred Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch, and Jim Brown.
There was a 1968 movie, The Guns of San Sebastian. With Anthony Quinn in the lead role and Charles Bronson playing a Yaqui outlaw. Now in a serious note: Lopez Obrador's leftist government is hell bent in following his failed policy of abrazos no balazos (hugs, not bullets) when dealing with people who break the law.
This will eventually be resolved. Too many jobs on the line for the Government of Mexico to not resolve this.
Will there be any re-thinking of just-in-time assembly and sole-source/outsourcing of parts? Would this sort of unforeseen problem have shut down Ford production 50 years ago?