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Ford (F) Reveals Features of 2021 Equator, Battles Chip Crunch

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Ford (F - Free Report) recently revealed its upcoming 2021 Equator three-row SUV via official images. The model has been developed under Ford’s joint venture with Jiangling Motors Corporation and is set to hit the markets in China in the upcoming months.

Key Features of the Ford Equator

The Ford Equator measures 4,905 mm in length, 1930 mm in width and 1,735 mm in height with a wheelbase of 2,865 mm.

The exteriors of the new Equator have a slightly different look with split headlamp setup and wide taillamps. Some of its other key features include well-defined wheel arches with black plastic cladding, prominent shoulder lines, chromed window line, interconnected LED taillamp and twin exhaust pipes. It also features an Equator branding.

Inside, the 2021 Ford Equator has Mercedes-Benz inspired dual screens measuring 12.3-inches with 6-seats layout having individual armrests for the second row seats. It has a dual-pane sunroof, TAI 3.0 connected car technology and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).

Official engine details of the SUV have not yet been disclosed but it is likely to be equipped with a 2.0L turbocharged petrol motor.

Ford Curtails Production Amid Semiconductor Supply Deficit

Ford recently announced that a global shortage of semiconductor chips along with unavailability of certain parts in the United States due to winter storms is forcing it to cancel shifts at two plants and build F-150 pickups and Edge SUVs without certain parts.

Reportedly, Ford will idle its Ohio assembly plant this week, while its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville will only work two of three shifts. Both plants will resume full production in the week of Mar 29.

Moreover, the Detroit-based automaker plans to complete the production of the hot-selling F-150 and Edge models in few weeks time when the parts, including some electronic components with semiconductors, are available. Thousands of vehicles are expected to be impacted due to the global shortage of semiconductors.  

In fact, Ford predicts that chip shortage could hit its 2021 EBIT to the tune of $1-$2.5 billion.

When the pandemic hit the economy, the auto sector bore severe brunt of the crisis, with auto sales hitting rock bottom in second-quarter 2020. Amid the tanking auto sales, semiconductor manufacturers shifted their production capacities to other sectors such as consumer electronics.

Nonetheless, with the global economy gradually recovering from the mayhem caused by the pandemic, auto sales managed to rebound faster than anticipated. However, semiconductor makers have not been able to meet the surging demand for automotive semiconductors and will take months to realign production to cater to this upswing in demand. This led to a global shortage of semiconductors in the auto sector, which might dent automotive sales.
Amid this gloomy scenario, the entire auto sector is feeling the heat of the deficit of semiconductors. In fact, U.S. auto giant General Motors (GM - Free Report) extended production stoppage at the San Luis Potosi plant through the end of March. Downtime at Fairfax and CAMI is extended to at least mid-April.

Other automakers impacted by this issue include Honda (HMC - Free Report) , Toyota (TM - Free Report) and Nissan among others.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Notably, shares of Ford have appreciated 222% in the past year compared with the industry’s rally of 427%.

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