Ford’s annex plant is inactive next week and Essex’s engine out for two days

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Local auto factories trying to make up for lost production due to the Ambassador Bridge blockade are being hampered by parts shortages caused by supply chain issues related to COVID-19.

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The Stellantis assembly plant in Windsor was able to operate as normal this week, but Ford’s Essex engine plant will only have been operational on Monday and Tuesday this week. Next week, Essex is expected to be down on Monday and Friday.

Ford’s annex engine plant has been idle all week and will remain closed for next week.

“Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry,” said LouAnn Gosselin, communications manager for Stellantis-Canada.

“Saturday production is scheduled at the Windsor Assembly Plant for both shifts. Production is scheduled for next week at this time.

Gosselin has previously said the company will try to make up for lost production at factories affected by the Ambassador Bridge blockade over time as parts and microchips become available.

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Unifor Local 200 President John D’Agnolo said the planned work at the Windsor Assembly is good news for his many local food factories.

“When this plant is running, all food plants are running,” said D’Agnolo, whose local represents workers at the STM food plant as well as the more than 1,800 Unifor members at the factories. of Ford engines.

“STM does headliners for Chrysler, so when they leave, STM was up and running again straight away.”

D’Agnolo said the just-in-time delivery system has been restored to normal, but Ford continues to face parts and microchip shortages caused by COVID-19-related issues. However, the rack shortage that developed during the bridge blockade is no longer an issue with border traffic flowing again.

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“Factories in Kentucky, Kansas City, Michigan and Ohio are running two shifts instead of three or one shift instead of two,” D’Agnolo said.

“Essex supplies engines for Flat Rock Michigan (for the Mustang) and that plant is down for a model change.”

While the lack of certain parts has hampered production, D’Agnolo said it’s the shortage of microchips that continues to plague all automakers. He said he had seen little to no improvement in the supply of microchips.

“Detroit Chassis and Ohio Assembly run until they run out of microchips, so it’s unpredictable,” D’Agnolo said.

“We really work day to day. They told us that this problem would continue well this year.

D’Agnolo said Ford is investing $20 billion to build its own microchip factory in partnership with Intel in Arizona. However, this does not provide short-term solutions.

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“They didn’t give us any timeline for getting a national supply of chips,” D’Agnolo said. “Once we have these chips, we will be very busy.”

Despite the setbacks of the bridge blockade, D’Agnolo said the Windsor plants remain attractive to Ford because of their quality and productivity.

“We rank at the top of all of their engine factories in the world,” D’Agnolo said. “We have a meeting every three weeks with the powertrain manager and the statistics generally put us at the top in terms of productivity and quality.

“That’s why we continue to get investment.”

These latest investments are the introduction of the new 6.8-litre engine and the addition of a third shift to the annex plant.

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  2. Empty parking lots can be seen outside the Windsor assembly plant as chip shortages continue to affect production, Thursday May 6, 2021.

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  3. A sign for the Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor is displayed on Thursday March 25, 2021.

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Production of the 6.8-liter engine is expected to begin in the fall. D’Agnolo said by the end of the month about 50 new employees will have been hired.

“There are more (hirings) coming, but we don’t have an exact number,” D’Agnolo said. “This number, which fluctuates all the time, will only come closer to the drop.”

Ford currently has approximately 1,850 local employees split evenly between its two plants. They make about 700 engines a day at the annex and 956 a day at Essex Engine.

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