MANILA, Philippines - U.S. carmaker Ford says it has started an 18-day suspension of production at its assembly plant in the Philippines partly due to a shortage of parts from Japan.

Ford Group Philippines says it started the temporary halt in production on Monday.

It said in a statement Wednesday that the suspension includes a planned shutdown for next week's Easter holiday and the early use of scheduled downtime to minimize any disruption.

It says parts will be available when production resumes.

Ford Motor Co. has said its Asia-Pacific operations may have to slow down or stop production later this month because of parts shortages from Japan.