Ford halting production of F-150 pickup due to parts shortage

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Ford's F-series trucks are its most profitable models as well as the best-selling vehicle for the company and the USA, the latter a spot it has held for 36 years.

Ford already has shut its F-150 plant in Kansas City, Missouri, and halted production of its Super Duty trucks in OH and Kentucky. Ford has already halted production of the F-series at its Kansas City plant.

"We're confident that any impacts will be short term", said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford global operations, in a media call late Wednesday.

Ford said it has 84 days' worth of supply of F-150 trucks and customers shouldn't be concerned. The shutdowns will adversely impact Ford's second-quarter earnings, but the company expects to compensate for this later.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz also said output has been disrupted. Meridian makes the die-cast components in the trucks.

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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. Those unique metal components are provided by Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, but on May 2nd, Meridian's facility caught fire.

The Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan experienced an explosion and fire on May 2, according to the Detroit News. Super Duty production at Ford's Avon Lake, Ohio plant has not been impacted thus far. Two people were injured in the fire, and the plant's roof was destroyed in the process. He noted that the company has "strong inventories" for its best-selling F-150. Ford ended April with gross stock of 313,600 trucks, including the Transit commercial van.

Ford is working with the supplier to shift production elsewhere while it repairs its factory. This would be a temporary halt of all production of the nation's bestselling vehicle.

About 4,000 employees in Dearborn and 3,600 employees in Kansas City have been laid off temporarily as a result.

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