LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The global shortage of computer chips that has hampered automakers since January has finally reached Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County.

Ford is cutting one of the plant's three shifts this week. It also canceled an overtime shift building Super Duty pickups that had been scheduled for Sunday.

The plant, which employs about 8,600 hourly workers, is scheduled to return to full production the week of March 29, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.

Kentucky Trucks builds the highly profitable large pickup trucks as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

Until this week Ford had kept KTP running at full blast while significantly curtailing work at its other local plant, Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road.

LAP, which builds smaller SUVs, the Escape and Lincoln Corsair, missed four full weeks of production in January and February. The plant went down Friday and is on a reduced schedule today, with normal operation to resume Tuesday.

In addition to putting KTP on reduced production, Ford is idling its Ohio Assembly Plant in the greater Cleveland area this week.

Semiconductors are needed in all sorts vehicle components, but they are also used in consumer electronics like video game consoles.

Ford said in a March 18 statement that the lost production because of the shortage could reduce its pre-tax adjusted profits by $1 billion to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021. 

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.