Ford Motor suspends F-150 production

Meridian Fire

Ford F-150 production could be shut down — but that probably won't wreck 2018 sales

"Thanks to the work that we're doing with suppliers, our manufacturing engineering teams, as well as the people in our plants, we expect any impacts to be short-term", said Robert Shanks, Ford's CFO.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) may have to halt production of its most popular vehicle. 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.

Ford has enough of the die-cast magnesium parts on the shelf to keep production running at Dearborn through Thursday of this week, according to a letter from the plant's union chief received by employees.

Meridian has other buildings in Eaton Rapids and another magnesium plant in Ontario, but it's unclear how much volume they can pick up, she said. By the time the fire was extinguished, Meridian's facility was significantly damaged, preventing the company from stamping any new chassis components for the Ford F-Series lineup. Meridian plant manager George Asher told Automotive News the company is working to move dies for stamping parts to its plants in Ontario and the United Kingdom.

Ford shut its F-150 plant in Kansas City earlier this week due to parts shortages.

A fire last week at the Meridian Lightweight Technologies plant in MI has led to parts shortages at a number of carmakers' plants and dealers in the US.

The truck is only built at two USA sites.

Last week, on May 22nd, an explosion caused a major fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, severely damaging the factory.

An executive with Ford acknowledged on Wednesday that the entire supply chain must be rebuilt. It said the plant will continue building the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups.

"They may or may not receive wages during the furlough period", says Pellathy.

Buyers of Ford pickups also tend to be a loyal bunch, so the carmaker could also see sales pushed forward a month or two.

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

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