Ford Motor Company has halted production of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck. The cease in production, which spans multiple plants and Ford vehicles, stems from a fire at one of the company’s suppliers last week.
One Monday the company idled F-150 production at its plant in Kansas City, Missouri until May 14th, temporarily laying off 3,600 workers of the plant. As of today production at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan plant will also be halted through the end of the week. Dearborn is the primary assembly plant for F-150 production and employs around 4,000 workers.
The supplier issue has also halted Ford Super Duty production in Kentucky, although that plant will continue with a reduced workforce to produce other Ford products. Super Duty production at Ford’s Avon Lake, Ohio plant has not been impacted thus far.
“This is a fluid situation, but we are working closely with our supplier partners to do everything we can to limit the impact on our production,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of Global Operations. “It’s a full team effort and we’re confident that any impacts will be short term. The good news is we have strong inventories of our best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles, and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want.”
The fire occurred at supplier Meridian Magnesium Products of America, which produces various die-cast parts for several automakers. In Ford’s case, the plant, located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, produces seat components for the F-150 and Super Duty, as well as the Expedition, Navigator and MKT. So far production of the Expedition, Navigator and MKT are not impacted by the parts shortage.
Thus far Ford is declining to say how long production will be impacted of its most popular models. Some insiders have suggested the parts shortage could last for several weeks.
BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are also reporting production disruptions due to the Meridian plant fire.