Detroit Ford Motor Co. tells its Texas dealers to help Texans without power by supplying F-150s with generators.
The effort, first reported by Automotive News, comes after the south was hit hard this week by a winter storm that resulted in power outages and water supply problems. About 325,000 homes and businesses were still without power as of Thursday, up from around 3 million a day earlier, but continued power outages are still a concern, the Associated press reported.
“Due to the urgent and unprecedented weather situation in Texas, a number of our local dealerships are using the all-new Ford F-150s equipped with Pro Power Onboard to help their communities,” said Ford spokesperson Mike Levine, in a statement. There are approximately 415 trucks on dealership lots in Texas that can help immediately.
The new F-150, which debuted last year, offers customers the option of turning their truck into a mobile generator. The Ford 2-kilowatt generator is optional on the Ford F-150 EcoBoost 2.7L, V8 5L and EcoBoost 3.5L. This amount of energy will run an electric heater, television, mini-fridge, and other small appliances at the same time, Ford says.
The Ford F-150 Hybrid comes standard with a 2.4 kilowatt generator.
Ford and other automakers had to halt production at various factories this week due to the storm and its effects on energy systems and the supply chain.
The Dearborn automaker ceased production Thursday and Friday at its Flat Rock assembly plant where the Mustang is built due to “weather-related parts shortages,” spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement at The Detroit News.
Ford canceled production until Feb. 22 at the Kansas City, Missouri, assembly plant where the F-150 and Transit are built to reduce natural gas use during the winter storm.
Earlier this week, the storm prompted Ford to cancel production of its Ohio assembly truck and van in Avon Lake, Ohio, and the Hermosillo assembly plant in Mexico, where the products Ford Fusion and Lincoln are manufactured.
General Motors Co. had four factories Friday that did not run at least first-shift production: the CadillacXT5, XT6 and GMC Acadia factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, the Arlington, TX factory where are built large SUVs, the Wentzville, Missouri, the mid-size truck manufacturing plant and the Silao, Mexico truck plant.
As of Friday, Stellantis NV had no plants down due to weather issues.
Meanwhile, automakers are still grappling with the global semiconductor supply constraint that has halted some of the production of all Detroit Three.
More recently, Ford said the Oakville assembly complex, where the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilusare were built, will be down the week of March 1 due to a shortage of parts due to stress from semiconductors.
GM has stopped production at least until mid-March due to semiconductor shortages at the Fairfax, Kansas plant, where the Cadillac XT4 and Chevrolet Malibu are built, the CAMI plant in Ontario where the Chevrolet Equinox is built and the San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico where the Equinox, Chevrolet Trax and GMC Terrain SUVs are built.
And the Stellantis assembly plant in Windsor, Ont., Where the Chrysler Pacifica was temporarily idled.
IHS Markit predicts that the chip shortage will cost the industry nearly a million units of production in the first quarter and likely still have an impact in the third quarter.
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