Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Ford F-150 Production Suspended

Windsor assembly plant workers see shorter shifts after fire at parts factory Ford Could Halt Production Of America's Best-Selling Vehicle For Weeks
Elsie Buchanan | 10 May, 2018, 12:29

The Ford Motor Company announced Wednesday it will temporarily halt production of F-150s at two of its USA factories due to a fire at one of its parts suppliers.

According to a news release from Ford, a fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America's plant is causing a parts shortage.

The Detroit Free Press reports the truck side of Ford's Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant shut down this week because of the parts shortage, idling about 3,600 workers, with no date set for reopening it. Ford is mulling whether to shut down the Dearborn Truck Plant in MI, which employs 4,000 workers. All told, Ford could lose production of 15,000 trucks per week if both Kansas City and Dearborn plants close. Other auto brands are also affected, however only Ford has halted the production of it's most successful truck - the legendary F-150.

The shutdowns could last for several weeks, according to a person familiar with the situation, although plans are in flux as Ford seeks an alternative supply of the missing parts. The decision may be affected by Ford's ability to find an alternate supplier.

The fire was set off by an explosion in the plant.

Felker said, "We are working closely with the supplier to manage the situation and to determine next steps". They're concerned about investors and workers.

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"The F-Series is the profit machine for Dearborn", said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis at AutoPacific Inc.

Meanwhile, production of the Ford Super Duty trucks has stopped, but no layoffs have occurred, she confirmed. Production at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes also is disturbed.

Ford sold 287,000 units of the F-Series trucks during the first four months of 2018, an increase of 4% in comparison with past year. The plant is said to employ more than 400 people, and that it is expected to "recall some employees and use them to give back to the community and/or charities as a thank you and to help support others in need".

Production fo the F-Series Super Duty is also down at the Kentucky Truck Plant. GM said it is working to resume van production "as quickly as possible".

The broader F-Series line-up, including Super Duty models, is Ford's most profitable vehicle, analysts estimating the company makes $10,000 or more on all but base models.

The paper noted that the cause of the fire remains unknown.

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