April 26, 2012 / 1:03 PM / 6 years ago

Ford to close Australian plants for a week due to supplier woes

CANBERRA (Reuters) - The Australian arm of Ford Motor (F.N) said it will close its operations for almost one week, after a parts supplier was put into administration over rent dispute.

Men talk at the Ford exhibition as they attend the Washington Auto Show January 27, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

About 1,800 workers would be stood down at two plants in the state of Victoria, and production would cease at the close of business on Thursday and would not resume until next Wednesday, a Ford spokeswoman said.

“We won’t be producing cars on Friday, Monday or Tuesday,” she said. “Obviously the whole process needs a bit of time to happen before we can start our production line again.”

The shutdown follows the news that Ford’s parts manufacturer CMI Industrial has been put into administration, leading to a breakdown of suspension parts supply.

When contacted by Reuters, an executive from CMI Industrial who declined to be identified, confirmed the company had been put into administration.

Ford is one of the three car makers in Australia, which, including GM Holden (GM.N) and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), are struggling with the global downturn and a strong Australian dollar undermining competitiveness.

Last week, Toyota axed 350 jobs from its manufacturing plant in Melbourne under a plan originally announced in January.

Australia made about 224,000 vehicles in 2011, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, down by 8.1 percent from the previous year.

Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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