Final assembly of the F-150 is crippled by the lack of critical components after a fire knocked out production at a supplier's plant in MI.
Demand for the F-150 has been so strong that the automaker could be unable to recover lost sales in the near-term by increasing the line speed at Dearborn and Kansas City or adding more overtime. "Adjustments and changes are being made hour by hour as the company is engaged in getting the parts needed to maintain our normal production schedule". The automaker is working hard to find a source of replacement parts, and parts supplier Meridian Magnesium is moving dies to other facilities, including one in Ontario, Canada.
"This is a fluid situation", Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, said via email.
The F-150 has been the top selling United States vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years.
The supplier, Chinese-owned Meridian Magnesium Products, said it is "working with the customers" - automakers affected by the fire - to move some of its tooling to a plant in Strathroy, Ontario, in a letter on an internal employee website and signed by George Asher, manager of Meridian's Eaton Rapids plant in MI.
The components shortage has also prompted Ford to stop production of the F-Series Super Duty pickup at its production plant in Louisville, Kentucky.
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A fire that ripped through a supplier's plant in MI has disrupted auto assembly at several factories, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada's Windsor Assembly Plant, where the Chrysler Pacifica minivan is built. 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.
The F-Series is so important to Ford that Albertine wrote he's considering adjusting his earnings projections for the automaker once the full effect of the supplier fire is known. Ford has sold 287,295 of them though April, according to CarSalesBase.com, up 4 percent over the same period in 2017.
Ford expects Super Duty production to continue at Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, it said.
The F-150, America's top-selling vehicle, is built only at the two sites.
"Our goal is to get production up and running as soon as possible", said spokesperson Mark Truby. As a result, we have cancelled production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours for our team members this week.
The fire destroyed this plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. It also provides parts to Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Tesla Inc. among others, according to the websites of Meridian and Wanfeng.