Kansas City’s Ford plant to be closed longer than originally expected

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CLAYCOMO, Mo. — Ford’s Kansas City assembly plant will not reopen on May 17 as expected.

The company announced Wednesday that the plant will remain shuttered for the weeks of May 17 and May 24. In addition, the plant’s Transit line will operate on one shift the weeks of May 31 and June 7.

The closure affects nearly all of the 7,100 hourly employees who build both the transit van and the F-150.

Ford also extended closures at other plants across the country.

Nearly every vehicle manufacturer is dealing with a global shortage of semiconductors, including Volkswagen, Jaguar Land Rover, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Honda.

General Motor’s Fairfax plant in Kansas, which has already been shut down since Feb. 8, will remain closed through at least the week of July 5. The Fairfax plant builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac XT4.

The chip shortage has been caused by semiconductor makers switching their factories to more profitable consumer-electronics processors when auto plants closed due to the coronavirus last year. The auto factories came back faster than expected, but the chip makers didn’t quickly switch their factories back to automotive-grade chips.

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