Ford production disruption highlights restart challenges

Following the news that Ford has halted production at its Kansas City assembly plant (Transit side) after a worker tested positive for COVID-19;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“The problems encountered by Ford in North America this week follow a shutdown last week at Ford’s Chicago plant due to coronavirus.

“Vehicle makers across the world are facing similar issues as they restart manufacturing facilities that were shuttered during COVID-19 lockdowns.

“One obvious problem is that even while first wave COVID-19 infection peaks have been passed, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and fresh outbreaks can disrupt activity.

“Moreover, disruptions can occur anywhere in the already stressed and elongated automotive manufacturing supply chain. The supply chain is ultimately only as strong as its weakest link and any disruptions to manufacturing companies along the supply chain anywhere in the world will impact others.

“On top of all that, demand for final products remains far below normal levels with an uncertain recovery trajectory.

“GlobalData forecasts that the hit to the global automotive market this year will be greater than in the 2007/08 financial crisis. The company’s base case COVID-19 light vehicle sales scenario forecasts a fall of 17.6% on 2019 to 74 million units sold.”

More Media