Ford Plants May Shut if Engines From Mexico Don’t Arrive: Report

Limits on production in Chihuahua state because of coronavirus could begin to hit U.S. production as early as next week.

Ford Motor Co.  (F) - Get Report may be forced to close some U.S. production facilities as early as next week if engines fail to arrive from Mexico, according to a published report on Thursday.

Limits on industrial production in Chihuahua state due to the coronavirus pandemic could lead to shortages soon, Reuters reported, citing comments by Christopher Landau, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.

A Ford executive told Landau the company was worried about engine deliveries because Mexican authorities have limited industrial capacity to 50%, Landau said in a talk arranged by the Atlantic Council, according to the report.

“They’re saying that they’re going to start shutting down factories in the United States as of next week if they don’t get that rolling,” Landau said, according to the report.

Mexico has reported nearly 33,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That's the fifth highest death toll globally. The U.S. leads the world with more than 133,000 deaths and more than 3 million cases. U.S. states have begun slowing or reversing their plans to reopen amid a surge in coronavirus cases since Memorial day.

The recent surge in cases, particularly in sun belt states, has thrown hopes of a fast U.S. economic rebound into doubt. President Donald Trump, who pressed states to reopen quickly last spring, insisted this week that schools must re-open this fall, or face possible cuts in federal aid.

Shares of Ford edged higher in after-hours trading Thursday after finishing the regular session off 25 cents, or 4.1%, at $5.84.