Ford's Mexican Engine Pipeline Running at Half Speed; Automaker Warns of Plant Shutdowns

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Ford cautioned that some of its American assembly plants could be put on ice as early as next week, as shortages persist at a Mexican plant still not running at full capacity.

The potential engine shortages stemming from coronavirus fears at Ford’s Chihuahua Engine Plant and in the surrounding countryside would stymie production of key Ford products, including the new-for-2020 Super Duty line.

First reported by Reuters, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau (a great name) said Thursday that Ford execs told him the possibility of U.S. plant shutdowns next week was very real. In Mexico’s Chihuahua state, industrial capacity has been limited to 50 percent on the order of the governor.

Chihuahua Engine builds, among other mills, the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter four-cylinders found in the Escape crossover. It also assembles the 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8s found under the hoods of many Super Duty pickups. Anything that would stem the flow of big-margin trucks to American consumers would be a huge blow to any automaker, especially as companies attempt to replenish depleted inventories in the wake of the damaging COVID-19 production shutdown.

The threat isn’t just idle talk on the part of an excitable ambassador, either.

“Due to COVID-19, the State of Chihuahua in Mexico has limited employee attendance to 50 percent, a region in which we have several suppliers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s Americas and International Markets Group, in a statement reported by The Detroit News.

“With our U.S. plants running at 100 percent, that is not sustainable. While we do not expect any impact to production next week, we are continuing to work with government officials on ways to safely and constructively resume remaining production.”

[Image: Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jul 10, 2020

    Is the 2.5 you referenced the hybrid for the Escape? I thought the only engines available for the Escape this year were the turbo triple and the turbo quad.

    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jul 11, 2020

      Presumably it is the Hybrid power plant I don't think they use the NA 2.5 anywhere else anymore. The Hybrid has been available since the current Escape launched, it is the Plug In Hybrid unit that will be a 2021.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jul 13, 2020

    This issue just reinforces the wisdom that the proud American automaker Ford has demonstrated by keeping all of their manufacturing within the U.S. of A. Do that and you won't have the kind of issues described here. [My impressions are drawn from the advertising Ford has been bombarding me with during the pandemic. If my impressions are incorrect in any way, please feel free to correct them.]

  • Theflyersfan I guess I should have kept my first ever car which was also a 1987 Nissan. Probably could have sold it for $50,000 by now if I was living in this fantasy world where used up 37 year old Nissans sell for the same price as a new Versa. I wish a link was here so all of us can check out this treasure among junk 200SX. The only way this car is even remotely worth that kind of money is if there are illicit substances hidden somewhere in the frame that, as part of the sale, you have to drive across the border and "make a delivery." Otherwise, get that thing off of my lawn.
  • Sobro Needs moar Roots.
  • RHD Questions? None, no, not really. Interested in some random Hyundai? No, not at all. Yawn.
  • Formula m Alfa-Romeo had the great idea to unveil my all time favourite car at the world expo in Montreal. Never built or Sold in North America. The called it the Alfa Romeo Montreal. Never even sold in North America.