Ford Motor Company Shuts F-150 Truck Production After Parts Supplier Fire

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

Now, employees at the Dearborn truck plant have been alerted and production there could be stopped later this week.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has halted production of its best-selling F-150 truck at two assembly plants after a fire last week at one of its supplier's plants caused a parts shortage.

John Klefot, a benefits representative with UAW Local 862, the union that represents plant workers, told WDRB on Thursday that at least 2,500 to 3,000 workers are temporarily out of a job.

The F-150 has been the top selling U.S. vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years.

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The assurance likely came as a relief to investors, given that F-Series trucks account for most of Ford's profits.

Ford said earlier Wednesday that it halted production of Super Duty trucks - the F-250 through F-750 pickups - at factories in OH and Kentucky, but Hinrichs clarified that production of those models only stopped in Kentucky. "We're confident that any impacts will be short term".

The shutdowns could cost Ford as much as 15,000 F-150s per week, according to James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research. GM has halted production of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans at its Wentzville, Missouri, factory, but continues to build Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups there.

Ford said it now has an 84-day supply of the trucks but do not have a time frame as to when the supply line will be restored.

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However, if the shutdown lasts over a month, buyers could have trouble finding the version of the truck that they are looking for. Those shortages are typical when vehicle inventory falls below 50 days.

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

The fire occurred at supplier Meridian Magnesium Products of America, which produces various die-cast parts for several automakers.

Other vehicle manufacturers are also affected, including Mercedes, BMW, and General Motors. An analyst calculated recently that the value of the F-Series truck is greater than of Ford overall. It also is more than four times the sales of its second best selling vehicle, the Escape SUV. Dearborn is the primary assembly plant for F-150 production and employs around 4,000 workers.

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