Ford F-150 Production Suspended

Sean Reid
May 11, 2018

Ford says they are suspending production of the F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant. It has already shut down a plant just outside Kansas City, Missouri. The only plant that makes the Savana and Express vans has shut down.

John Klefot, a benefits representative with UAW Local 862, the union that represents plant workers, told WDRB on Thursday that at least 2,500 to 3,000 workers are temporarily out of a job.

The F-150 pickup is Ford's best-selling model, as well as its most profitable. It's a key profit generator for Ford.

The announcement came on Wednesday, with a company spokesperson, Mark Truby, stating "Our goal is to get ger production up and running as soon as possible".

The company also suspended production of the F-Series Super Duty, a larger version of the F-150, at its truck plant in Louisville KY, but expected to continue making the vehicle at its OH plant in Avon Lake. "It's a full team effort and we're confident that any impacts will be short term". Ford said it has a strong inventory of trucks sitting on dealer lots and doesn't expect the plant shutdowns to immediately affect sales.

Ford dealers and distribution chains now have 84 days' worth of supply, which Ford told The Detroit News should be sufficient to fill the demand. It built 29,572 trucks in Kansas City and 31,482 in Dearborn last month. Those shortages are typical when vehicle inventory falls below 50 days.

"This is an extremely fluid situation", Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, said by phone. The company recently said it plans to phase out most sedans from its North American lineup.

The Magnesium Products of America, Inc. plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, makes multiple die-cast magnesium components of the F-150 including the front bolster, which is the reinforcement behind the front grill. Besides Ford Motor Company, BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz were affected by the fire.

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. 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 Inc. and Nike Inc. It also is more than four times the sales of its second best selling vehicle, the Escape SUV.

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