Ford halts F-series, Super Duty production after fire at supplier

Ford halts F-series, Super Duty production after fire at supplier

Production of Ford's most profitable model line, the F-Series pickup, is likely to be knocked out for several weeks by a fire that's cut off supply of critical parts to the automaker's truck factories, a person familiar with the situation said.

The massive auto plant fire that happened last week in Eaton rapids could force Ford to completely shut down production of its top-selling vehicle.

Meridian, which makes aluminum and magnesium structural components at four plants in North America, could not be reached immediately for comment. The two assembly plants that manufacture the F-150 generate a combined $40 billion in revenue annually.

The move means approximately 4,000 workers at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant will be temporarily laid off, joining roughly 3,600 workers at Ford's truck plant in Kansas City who were told to stay home earlier this week, CNBC reported. The shortage is affecting multiple Ford plants, including the one in Claycomo. "We're working closely with the supplier to manage the situation and determine next steps". "It's a full team effort and we're confident that any impacts will be short term".

The F-Series pickups have always been the top-selling vehicles in the United States - and for Ford, they're a license to print money.

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A fire at a Ford supplier has put production of its most important vehicle, the F-150 pickup truck, at risk. Ford didn't say how long the suspension will last. A two-week production halt for the F-150 could slice as much as $310 million from Ford's second-quarter profits, Buck Research analyst Joseph Amaturo wrote in a note Wednesday. This would be a temporary halt of all production of the nation's bestselling vehicle.

It's expected that once the supply problems are resolved, Ford will increase the rate of production of its popular pickup.

"The F-Series is the profit machine for Dearborn", said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis at AutoPacific Inc. The company does not expect to lose sales due to shutdown and expect to make up the production over time.

It is unclear how soon Meridian will be able to restart production and whether Ford and the other manufacturers will be able to find alternative sources.

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