Auto maker Ford Thursday said it was halting work at its two Australian plants for almost a week after one of its parts manufacturers was placed into administration.
The move affects some 1,800 workers at its Geelong and Broadmeadows factories in Victoria state.
Ford spokeswoman Sinead Phipps told reporters production would cease at the close of business Thursday and not resume until next Wednesday.
“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.”
CMI Industrial, which produces parts including seatbelt restraints, air bags, suspension components and brake pad backing plates, was placed into receivership on Thursday morning.
About 80 staff at CMI’s local factory have been unable to work since Friday after the landlord changed the locks in a dispute over unpaid rent.
One of the receivers, Keith Crawford, said they were working to keep CMI afloat.
“In the interim we will be liaising closely with employees and unions, customers and suppliers to ensure minimal disruption to operations,” Crawford said in a statement.
Australia’s auto industry is labouring due to the local exchange rate’s protracted run against the US dollar, accompanied by rising production costs and faltering domestic sales.
Canberra gave General Motors subsidiary Holden a Aus$275 million (US$283 million) lifeline to keep its plants open last month amid fears it would pull out of Australia, and pledged Aus$34 million to prop up production at Ford.