Mustang Production Paused at Flat Rock Assembly

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
mustang production paused at flat rock assembly

Ford will be idling Mustang production this week due to an insufficient supply of semiconductor chips. For all the talk the industry made about getting over supply chain hurdles in 2021, manufacturers continue citing insufficient access to microchips as the primary obstacle preventing them from enjoying more routine operations.

The automaker confirmed the move on Tuesday, explaining that Michigan’s Flat Rock Assembly will be down until sometime next week.

While the facility has a storied history with Ford’s relationship with Mazda, the site is now responsible for manufacturing the (real) Mustang. The Detroit News reported on the supply problem last night, explaining that these production issues are hardly unique to Blue Oval:

The production cut is just the latest signal that the shortage of the crucial component that powers many of the automated and electronic features in vehicles will continue to be a challenge more than a year after it started.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that it is unlikely to reach its target of manufacturing 9 million vehicles this fiscal year through March because of the shortage, Bloomberg reported. The Japanese automaker plans to scale back production by about 150,000 units to 700,000 units in February, according to the outlet.

The semiconductor crisis emerged shortly after the pandemic in 2020 and was exacerbated by people staying home and purchasing small electronic devices using more-lucrative semiconductor chips. This resulted in an industry-wide shift away from vintage automotive chips offering narrower profit margins. Meanwhile, supply chains were in shambles following aggressive COVID restrictions — making it difficult for the Asian-based components to get into Western markets in a timely fashion.

This forced automakers to cut production and helped to create the empty lots that have encouraged dealerships to charged exorbitant fees for first and secondhand vehicles. Despite dealers making a relative killing from elevated demand, it’s estimated the situation has cost the global industry hundreds of billions of dollars in potential revenue. Analysts have stated that they’re expected the chip shortage to resolve itself by the end of 2022. But the same was said of 2021.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 19, 2022

    Renesas of Japan was THE major automotive chip supplier with a third of the global market until their factory caught fire last year. Took 'em months until the end of June to claim they were 100% back. That accounted for 8% of the shortage last year alone. The South Koreans knock out a few chips via a little outfit name of Samsung, but Taiwan is the real hub of major production. Not sure China is really right up there, but as they don't sit around and moan much like Western countries but get on with the job, no doubt they're rectifying the oversight after Huawei was dissed on 5G in the West. It used to be 'can do' was an American trait, but that was decades ago and seems to have died out. So far as the Mustang is concerned and since sedans and coupes don't sell very well, a coupla weeks of lost production isn't keeping Farley up at night.

  • AlexMcD AlexMcD on Jan 25, 2022

    My Dad bought a 4dr rear drive (79?) for me to drive in college and after. I drove it every day in Minnesota and it was a freak. At 40 below, I sat on the vinyl seat and it cracked around me. It had a carb but never had to crank more than a couple seconds before starting, even on the coldest nights. It ended up rusting out. I never had to deal with dealerships as I did my own maintenance. I do recall a survey from the 90s where Mitsubishi had the lowest ranked dealers. I had a stick so I never got stuck in the snow and it was a snowy couple of years in Minnesota.

  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs