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