Ripple Effect: Japanese Quake Leaves Ford Short on Black and Red Paint Supplies

The Japanese earthquake has caused issues in various parts of the global parts supply chain, but the latest problem stemming from the quake may surprise you. As a result of the recent natural disaster, Ford is now reportedly having trouble making black and shades of red paint due to a shortage of pigments it sources from Japan.

Henry Ford is remembered for perfecting the automobile manufacturing process, and in optimizing build time he preferred to use black paint as its dry time was less than any other color. Now the automaker is able to offer its vehicles in a color-wheel of hues, but is now facing a shortage of reds and Henry’s favorite black. The key missing ingredient for the Japanese-sourced paint is called Xirallic; the pigment is made from aluminum oxide and enhances the glitter effect of modern paint hues.

As a result of the ingredient shortage, Ford can no longer produce its “tuxedo black” and three shades of red including “royal red,” “red candy,” and “red fire.” The shade of black is found on Ford F-150 and Super Duty trucks, Expedition, Explorer, and Taurus, while Lincoln models wearing the color are the Navigator, and MKS. The three shades of red are also found on Ford’s Super Duty trucks and Expedition, as well as the Econoline, Ranger, and Focus, with only the Navigator affected in Lincoln’s lineup.

Ford notes it has a small stockpile of the pigment, but is working fast to find a replacement supplier. In the interim, dealers are not permitted to place orders for cars painted in the affected hues.

DuPont’s annual color survey recently found North American’s prefer black as the second most desirable color, with white topping the list. Red rounded out the top five falling behind silver and grey. When you’re shopping for a new car, how important is the color selection? Would you consider not buying a car if the dealer didn’t have the particular color you were looking for? Send us your thoughts in the comments section below

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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