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Ford and Nissan will cut vehicle production due to a chip shortage

VW has also had trouble.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 10, 2021
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LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 27:  A worker builds the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition SUV as it goes through the assembly line at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant October 27, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. Ford recently invested $900 million in the plant for upgrades to build the all-new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, securing 1000 hourly U.S. jobs. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Chip shortages aren’t just hurting your access to CPUs and GPUs — they’re hurting the car market, too. CNBC, ABC News and The Verge report that Ford and Nissan are scaling back production in response to semiconductor shortages. Ford is idling an SUV factory in Louisville, Kentucky this week, moving up downtime previously scheduled for later in 2021. Nissan, meanwhile, is reducing output at its Oppama plant in Japan.

Other brands may face trouble as well. Volkswagen said in December that it was altering production in China, Europe and North America in light of the shortage. Fiat Chrysler and Toyota have also talked about production issues. GM hasn’t had to cut production, spokesman David Barnas told CNBC, but it’s keeping an eye on chip-related issues.

The shortage surfaced in late 2020 after demand for cars spiked following pandemic-related factory shutdowns for two months.

These issues might be difficult to avoid at a time when car production and demand are unstable. Modern cars are highly dependent on chips for driver assistance features, infotainment systems and basics like steering. Until chip availability and car demand are under control, delays and limited inventory might be relatively commonplace.

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