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Ford Says Paint Shortage Poses No Problems

Ford sent a note to dealers saying some red and black paint colors will not be available on certain models due to a lack of xirallic, a paint additive the auto maker sources from Japan.

Ford has a message to consumers seeking vehicles featuring certain red and black paint colors that no longer are being produced as a result of supply disruptions caused by this month’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan: Don’t believe everything you hear.

“There is not a shortage today on dealer lots of any vehicle with a red or black color,” Ford spokesman Todd Nissen tells Ward’s. “There are adequate inventories for people who want to get vehicles with any of these colors.”

Ford yesterday sent a note to dealers saying Tuxedo Black, Royal Red, Red Candy and Red Fire will not be available on certain models due to a lack of xirallic, a paint additive the auto maker sources from Japan.

In the dealer note, which was obtained by Ward’s, Ken Czubay, vice president-U.S. marketing, sales and service, says there has been no change in production plans, “but we are adjusting future scheduling for some paint colors as a precautionary move to ensure we have maximum supply.”

Scheduling of vehicles with Tuxedo Black has been suspended for the week of April 4 at the auto maker’s Dearborn, MI, truck plant, which produces the F-150 pickup, and Kentucky Truck, home to the F-Series Super Duty pickup and Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator fullsize SUVs.

The auto maker also will limit the scheduling volumes of the affected red colors at Kentucky Truck; Wayne, MI, which produces the Ford Focus C-car; Ohio Truck, where the Econoline fullsize van is built; and Twin Cities, MN, home to the Ford Ranger small pickup. Tuxedo Black scheduling is being suspended at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant, which builds the Ford Explorer SUV and Ford Taurus/Lincoln MKS fullsize sedans.

Nissen says Ford is unsure when the paints will be available again.

“We’re not providing a timetable on the return of colors, because the situation in Japan is so fluid,” he says. “But we are working with paint suppliers to find alternatives.”

Among the affected models, Ford is in shortest supply of Explorers, with a 30-day inventory at the end of February. Taurus stocks stood at 45 days, followed by Focus (47) Econoline (60) and Expedition (72).

The auto maker had a 182-day supply of the Lincoln MKS, 84 days’ supply of the Ranger and 82 and 83 days of Navigator and F-Series inventory, respectively.

A 60-day supply is considered an ideal amount of inventory by most auto makers. Czubay in the note to dealers says Ford does “not anticipate a loss of production at this time as a result of this situation.”

Meanwhile, Nissen says Ford has so far experienced no parts disruption anywhere in the world due the situation in Japan.

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