Why Ford is idling Escape, Corsair production again

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DETROIT — Production at Ford Motor Co.’s Louisville Assembly Plant will be stopped for the second time this month, beginning next week, as a microchip shortage continues to upend the auto industry.

The Kentucky plant, which employs roughly 3,900 workers building the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair crossovers, will be down the next two weeks, according to Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker. Louisville Assembly was previously down the week of Jan. 11 for the same reason.

Hourly workers will receive 75 percent of their gross pay during the downtime. The latest production suspension was first reported by the (Louisville) Courier Journal.

The issue has also shuttered Ford’s plant in Saarlouis, Germany, and is affecting a number of automakers around the globe. IHS Markit forecasts that chip-related supply wrinkles will linger into the second quarter and possibly even the second half of this year.

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