Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Ford suspends production of F-150 trucks

Ford suspends production of F-150 trucks

Ford was forced to temporarily halt production of its popular F-150 pickup truck Wednesday after a fire at a supplier last week caused a parts shortage.

The Magnesium Products of America, Inc. plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, makes multiple die-cast magnesium components of the F-150 including the front bolster, which is the reinforcement behind the front grill.

Kentucky Truck Plant employs almost 7,600 full-time hourly workers, having added 2,000 for Super Duty production in conjunction with a 2017 investment of $900 million.

No one knows for sure how long it will take to restart the Meridian Magnesium plant. "We will be down through the end of the week".

Ford says it's working with suppliers to limit the impact on production.

Authorities said there were explosions at the plant and two workers were hurt.

F-150 trucks are a multibillion dollar enterprise. Company officials say they may also shut down the production line at its second F-150 plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The automaker also has stopped building F-Series Super Duty pickups at a factory in Kentucky, though it continues to make them in Ohio.

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Mercedes-Benz is affected by the fire as well. Ford said it has a strong inventory of trucks sitting on dealer lots and doesn't expect the plant shutdowns to immediately affect sales. It's a key profit generator for Ford.

Fiat Chrysler said the parts shortage has impacted production of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan at its Windsor, Ontario, plant, and it's adjusting production schedules to minimize downtime. Even one missing part from a supply chain is enough to halt production of a vehicle.

The same fire at Meridian in MI has already created a parts shortage at the Windsor Assembly Plant, and as a result, FCA has shortened shifts.

Fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products plant which supplies Ford with radiator support has led to shortage of vital parts for Ford F-150.

Ford has about an 84-day supply of the F-Series truck in dealers' inventories, according to the company.

The cause of the fire at the Meridian plant isn't known.

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