Image credits: Carlos Aranda
News Article

Material Shortages Stop Production at Ford Hermosillo Plant

By Alfonso Núñez | Tue, 10/19/2021 - 16:11

Just two days after almost 3,000 workers returned Ford’s plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, production once again stopped on October 15 due to a shortage of materials.


A workers union announced employees would be paid 75 percent of their usual salary during the Friday suspension. While they did not specify which materials caused the plant to halt production, the plant closure comes at a time when many manufacturing sectors have been affected by a wave of chip shortages.


Semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions continue to impact the automotive industry, which caused heavy vehicle production and exports to decrease by 8.8 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, in September. Even as the world’s return to normalcy and mobility cause vehicle sales to increase, shortages in semiconductors could prevent the automotive industry from recovering after the pandemic plummeted sales.


Last month also marked the worst sales during the month of September for light vehicles in Mexico during the last 10 years. Industry experts predicted a continuation of suppliance and product availability for the coming months, which only seems to align with Ford’s Hermosillo plant recent temporary closing.


The Mexican plant, where the SUV Bronco Sport and the Maverick pick up are made for primary export to the US, joins Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan, and Kansas City, Kansas, in temporarily closing due to material shortages. The American automobile manufacturer General Motors likewise stopped production in its San Luis Potosi due to a shortage of semiconductors.


Lightweight vehicle sales found themselves in a period of recovery well before the shortage became yet another hurdle in this process. Also affecting production was the Texas winter storm earlier this year, resulting in a shortage of gas whose impact was felt beyond the US-Mexico border as nation-wide shortages in electricity were felt.


Ford Motor Company Vice President John Lawler says Ford expects to see a 10 percent decrease in production during the second trimester of 2021 due to semiconductor shortage, lowering production by 1.1 million units.


Director of External Commerce and Normalization of the National Auto Part Industry (INA) Alberto Bustamante credits the increase in national auto part demand to the INA working with the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Labor and Social Prevision (STPS) and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) to establish health protocols in order to expediate the “return to normalcy.” As more than half of Mexicans now find themselves living in green light states, auto demand will continue to increase in the country. But the worldwide shortage of semiconductors could prevent the automotive industry from reaping the benefits of this demand.

Photo by:   Carlos Aranda, Unsplash
Alfonso Núñez Alfonso Núñez Journalist & Industry Analyst