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Ford shuts down a plant because it can't find enough computers

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 70.4%. 1 min read.

Ford Escape sports utility vehicles proceed down the assembly line during production at the Ford Motor Co. Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Photographer : Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg

A computer chip shortage has shut down the Louisville, Kentucky, Ford plant this week, the first shutdown because of an industry-wide problem that is expected to spread to many other auto plants in the coming months.

New York (CNN Business)A computer chip shortage has shut down the Louisville, Kentucky, Ford plant this week, the first shutdown because of an industry-wide problem that is expected to spread to many other auto plants in the coming months.

"The global semiconductor shortage is presenting challenges and production disruptions -- for the global auto industry, including Ford (F), which could have a significant knock-on effect on jobs and the economy given the importance of auto manufacturing," said Ford (F) in a statement.

Automakers cut back orders for computer chips early last year when the pandemic slammed the brakes on auto sales and production because of temporary plant closings.

When car sales bounced back sooner than expected, it left the industry struggling with a chip shortage.

That was exacerbated by increased demand for laptops during the stay-at-home era -- and the electronic and computer industries snapping up the excess supply of chips, said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research, a Michigan think tank.

The average car has between 50 to 150 chips in it, she said.

The problem is not just affecting US auto plants -- plants in Europe and Asia are also dealing with chip shortages.

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