Ford Could Halt Production Of America's Best-Selling Vehicle For Weeks


Ford has shut down production of F-150 pickup trucks after a fire at a parts supplier, but the automaker said Wednesday the issue won't negatively impact its full-year profit.

Ford will suspend production of the F-150 at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan, on Wednesday night.

The components shortage has also prompted Ford to stop production of the F-Series Super Duty pickup at its production plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

A fire last week at the plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, operated by Meridian Lightweight Technologies disrupted production of parts used in the Ford trucks.

"It takes 76 days for an F-150 to sell, so the company does have a bit of a cushion", says Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of industry analysis.

Ford also said current inventory levels on dealer lots will satisfy demand for the F-150. The plant supplies other automakers as well, but so far only one - Fiat Chrysler - has reported an impact on production. GM said it is working to resume van production "as quickly as possible". If production is halted, the shutdown could last several weeks.

It is the only US source of those support beams, as well as other components used by some of Ford's competitors, including the cross vehicle beams that instrument panels in some Fiat Chrysler products are mounted on.

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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. As a result, we have cancelled production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours for our team members this week.

Power to plant two has been established but Asher said there is no work in there yet. The truck line, including F-250 and other larger models, hauls in about $40 billion in annual revenue, exceeding the annual sales of companies such as Facebook and Nike. It said its plant SC has an inventory of parts on hand.

"We are now following our safety protocols and working alongside state agencies and utilities to ensure that resumption of operations will be done in safe manner".

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Safety will always be our primary concern.

Meridian is owned by Chinese supplier Wanfeng Auto Holding Group.

There are relatively few suppliers of magnesium parts, which means the auto companies could be without critical components for some time. Automakers use magnesium parts to cut weight in vehicles, and improve fuel economy.