Ford Motor Co. has halted production of F-Series Super Duty pickups at Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County following a fire last week at a plant in MI that makes a component for the trucks. It is unclear when production will resume.
Experts say that if Ford's two F-150 assembly lines remain shut down for more than a couple of weeks, there could start to be shortages. The vehicle generated $41 billion in revenue a year ago, about 28 percent of total sales and the lion's share of its profits. Among other items, Meridian supplies Ford with the magnesium radiator support structure, which holds radiators on the trucks.
"Kansas City Truck who we send our engines to have components that they received from Meridian who caught fire and what's happened is we have Thursday and Friday down, as of right now", said Unifor 200 president John D'Angelo. The F-150 pickup is Ford's best-selling model, as well as its most profitable. The Avon Lake, Ohio plant makes commercial grade trucks, including the "chassis cab" F-350, F-450 and F-550, along with the big F-650 and F-750 heavy duty trucks.
Fortunately for Ford, General Motors doesn't yet have new pickups in the United States markets, and Fiat Chrysler is just launching its F-150 competitor.
That's because there was a fire at a supplier's plant last week.
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It will also be impacted at the Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant and will also Ford F-Series Super Duty production is down at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. It said the plant will continue building the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups.
Felker said, "We are working closely with the supplier to manage the situation and to determine next steps". The date of relaunching of the Meridian Magnesium plant is still unknown.
It was not clear how long the production disruptions will last and Ford did not specify what parts were affected in the pickup trucks.
BMW and FCA are also reported to be adjusting production schedules this week.
There are relatively few suppliers of magnesium parts, which means the auto companies could be without critical components for some time.