Ford's Venezuelan production slows due to shortage of imported parts
Ford Motor Co. slowed production at its Venezuelan unit this month because suppliers couldn't get the dollars they needed to import parts and raw materials.
Ford cut output to 65 percent of capacity in early February from full capacity while it sought to prove to the government that some imported items used to assemble cars aren't made domestically, said Nelson Matamoros, spokesman for the automaker's Venezuelan unit.
"It's a slow process, one we and the government aren't used to," Matamoros said in a phone interview in Caracas. "Production will likely be affected until the end of March."
Four years of foreign exchange and price controls have undermined private investment and expansion of production capacity in Venezuela. Scarcity of goods such as meat, milk and construction materials have helped boost the annual inflation rate to 18.4 percent last month from 10.4 percent in May.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez implemented foreign exchange restrictions in 2003, and in December tightened rules for obtaining dollars to import "non-essential" goods and items that are produced domestically.