Local Ford shuts down

Published by rudy Date posted on April 13, 2011

DETROIT—Ford Motor Co. says that its Asia-Pacific operations may have to slow or stop production later this month because of parts shortages from Japan.

Ford has had to temporarily halt operations in the US and Europe because of shortages, but this was the first word of possible production cuts in Asia. Ford has 13 plants in its Asia-Pacific region, including eight assembly plants in Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, the Philippines and China.

Ford Group Philippines said in a separate statement that it was shutting down its Sta. Rosa manufacturing facility for 18 days starting this week “as a precautionary move to ensure we have parts availability going forward.”

“The down days include an already planned week-long shutdown for the Easter holiday in the Philippines,” it said in an e-mail to the Manila Standard.

Ford doesn’t have any production facilities in Japan but, like other automakers, does source parts from suppliers that were hurt by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The second-largest US automaker closed a factory in Kentucky and Belgium last week due to earthquake-related parts shortages.

Ford said in a regulatory filing Monday that it expects its operations will be affected beginning the last week of April and into May. It didn’t say which factories or for how long, but said it doesn’t expect any production disruption to have a big impact on the company’s overall financial results. It is pursuing other sources for some of its supply.

However, if the supply of a key material or part from Japan is disrupted and it can’t find an alternate, Ford said it may have to reduce or temporarily halt vehicle production. That could hurt both the company’s results and Ford Motor Credit Co.’s financial condition, it added.

Toyota Motor Corp., meanwhile, told US dealers that assembly disruptions triggered by last month’s record earthquake and tsunami in Japan may thin supplies of vehicles into the third quarter.

The world’s largest automaker will build vehicles at “significantly reduced levels,” Bob Carter, group vice president of US sales, said in a memorandum to dealers. While Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. reported mostly minor damage at Japanese plants from the March 11 disaster, all three cut output in Japan and abroad as they rebuild stockpiles of parts from suppliers whose operations were disrupted. Bloomberg, AP

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