FORD is to close down its Australian car-making operations until Wednesday, a company spokeswoman said.
The move comes as a flow-on effect of a dispute involving Melbourne car parts supplier CMI Industrial, which is now in the hands of administrators.
Ford spokeswoman Sinead Phipps said production would cease at its Australian car-making operations from close of business yesterday.
She said Friday and Tuesday were down days that had been brought forward and would enable workers to be paid 50 per cent of their wages, which they could top up with annual leave.
Ms Phipps said Ford believed it would take CMI administrators several days to stabilise the business and resume production, and it would then be 24 hours before parts were available to Ford.
"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 was handed over to voluntary administrators Grant Thornton, and receivers McGrathNicol yesterday morning.
The administrators will now decide the fate of the company's plant in Campbellfield, which has been locked by landlords for almost a week due to unpaid rent.
McGrathNicol receiver Keith Crawford said the task was now to stabilise all the company's operations as soon as possible, before assessing all its finances, in a bid to find new buyers, but could not reveal when the plant was likely to re-open.
"In the interim we will be liaising closely with employees and unions, customers and suppliers to ensure minimal disruption to operations," Mr Crawford said in a statement yesterday.
About 80 workers at CMI's Campbellfield factory have been locked out since Friday after the landlord changed the locks in a dispute over rent payment, believed to be around $150,000.
The Federal Government has said it is "reasonably confident" the right decisions will be made about restructuring CMI in order to save jobs.