Further to a delay in the shipment of limited numbers of the F-150 from Ford’s Dearborn truck plant last December because of a supply shortage (read more here), the company has been forced to idle the plant for the whole of this week because of a lack of V-6 engine parts from its supply base.
While Ford refused to identify the specific parts or the supplier, the shortage is affecting the 3.7-litre V-6 and a new 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engines, two of four engines offered on the 2011 F-series, built at the company’s Cleveland engine plant in Ohio.
Ford said distribution of previously produced trucks will continue and that the Dearborn plant will resume production next Monday.
“We are not speculating on future inventory levels, but we do not expect a sales impact as a result of this,” a spokesman told Automotive Logistics News.
The company refused to go into detail on the necessity for any extra logistics provision for the movement of parts and vehicles when supply of the part resumes next week.
The repeated shortage of parts at Dearborn points to a wider problem affecting suppliers who reduced capacity during the downturn but are now having trouble keeping up with renewed demand from carmakers as sales start to recover. Analysts forecast that shortages are likely to continue as sales return to previous levels.
Ford also confirmed that the shortage of engine parts will not affect production of the F-150 at the company’s Kansas City plant which builds the model on a separate line. The company announced last week that it will build a new vehicle there after Ford Escape production moves to its Louisville plant and retooling of the Kansas City facility is complete. 
Ford plans to invest $400m in the Kansas City plant to install a new body shop, new tooling and other upgrades. It will retain 3,750 full-time jobs including those attached to the assembly of the F-150.