Early in the pandemic, domestic automakers closed their plants for weeks in order to help contain the emerging coronavirus.
But more than a year later, Ford CEO Jim Farley says keeping plants operational is still a challenge.
That’s because, in a given week, as many as one-fifth of Ford workers fail to show up at some plants.
Farley believes the reasons are varied, but include the workers’ disinterest in wearing masks, which are again required in the factories.
Kristin Dziczek with Center for Automotive Research told CNN the absenteeism’s impact has been buffered by the chip shortage slowing production.
Even so, she says Ford and other automakers are struggling to fill the gaps with temporary workers.
With the forces working against the industry combined, she says, "It's a goddamn miracle we can make a car at all."