Ford suspends all F-150 production after fire at supplier

11 May, 2018, 04:30 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • AP- Emergency personnel respond to a fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America in Eaton Rapids Mich. Wednesday morning

The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the USA, accounting for more than a quarter of Ford's sales previous year.

Ford also has halted production of the F-Series Super Duty truck at its assembly plant in Louisville, Ky. The company has an 84-day supply of F-150 on dealer lots nationwide so there shouldn't be any shortages, though buyers after a specific trim, engine, and body configuration might be out of a luck if inventory falls under a 50-day supply. "It's a full team effort and we're confident that any impacts will be short term". The company has had to temporarily lay off 7,600 workers as it cuts production of the F-Series pickup truck, the top-selling vehicle in America.

Other vehicle brands are also affected, however only Ford has halted the production of it's most successful truck - the legendary F-150. The Kansas City facility employs some 3,600 people while the plant in MI has 4,000 employees.

General Motors' Chevy and GMC brands are launching new full-size competitors to the F-150 and won't have all-new trucks until later this year.

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Magnesium die-cast components supplier Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan suffered an explosion followed by a major fire on May 2. It is Ford's only supplier of this product in the US, and without it, the truck's production is unable to continue.

Both local Unifor presidents said it's a temporary change as they continue to evaluate the fire's impact on local production.

Sources in the auto industry say privately they expect the factories will be closed for "several weeks".

"This is an extremely fluid situation", Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, said by phone.

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The automaker has two plants that build its F-150 pickup truck, and both are shutdown due to a parts shortage caused by that fire.

It should be noted that Meridian is looking for a new facility to set up stamping operations, but that takes time and until the company produces more chassis components, Ford F-Series production is halted.

Fortunately for Ford, General Motors doesn't yet have new pickups in the USA markets, and Fiat Chrysler is just launching its F-150 competitor. The Avon Lake, Ohio plant makes commercial grade trucks, including the "chassis cab" F-350, F-450 and F-550, along with the big F-650 and F-750 heavy duty trucks.

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