The Ford Motor Co will idle plants in Taiwan, China and South Africa beginning this week due to the shortage of parts from Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the company said on Monday.

All three plants, one each in Taiwan, China and South Africa, were scheduled to be shut later, and Ford moved up those dates, a Ford spokesman said.

Ford in a filing with U.S. securities regulators earlier this month, signaled the slowed production in Asia. Ford said at the time that the company expected no material impact on company earnings from the slowdowns.

Ford reports first-quarter earnings on Tuesday morning.

Ford officials on Monday declined to say whether production at the plants to be idled this week will be made up with increased production later.

Ford beginning this week will idle for two weeks the Ford Lio Ho plant in Taiwan as a precautionary move to ensure we have parts availability going forward and as a result of a shortage of vehicle kits, the company said.

Also idled for a single week are Ford's Changan Ford Mazda Automobile plant in Nanjing in China and an assembly plant in South Africa.

Ford made a similar move in early April when it shut its Genk, Belgium, plant for a week, pushing ahead a scheduled week of downtime. That shutdown was also linked to the lack of parts from Japanese supplies or those impacted by the ripple effect of the slowed and shut plants in Japan after the earthquake.

The plant in Taiwan makes the Focus, Mondeo, Escape, Econovan, Mazda 3 and Mazda 5.

The China plant makes the Fiesta, Mazda 2 four-door, and the Mazda 3.

The plant in South Africa produces the Focus, Bantam, Ranger pickup truck and Mazda BT-50. The Ranger, BT-50 and Bantam are pickup trucks.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by Dave Zimmerman)