F-150 production suspended at Ford Claycomo plant


Ford declined to say how long the shutdown will last, but did not change earning forecasts and will be isolated to the second quarter.

Daimler and BMW acknowledged that they also had parts shortages from Meridian, resulting in minor production disruptions at their US plants in Alabama and SC.

Ford's F-Series has been America's top-selling vehicle for 40 straight years. Plant manager George Asher said Tuesday power has been reestablished in Plant Four and some employees have been called back to work. It's a key profit generator for Ford. Ford's lead over the No. 2 Chevy Silverado, owned by GM (NYSE: GM) and No.3 Dodge Ram, owned by Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) may be the single most important edge Ford has in the American market. The shares have dropped 11 percent this year.

"They will be making a decision soon,"said Ford spokesperson, Kelli Felker in a news release".

The company has said it is working to resolve the supply disruption. 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. The cause of the fire wasn't known. "This isn't like picking up screws at the hardware store". That disturbed the North American auto industry. Just-in-time deliveries of parts directly to assembly lines boosts efficiency and save costs.

The fire happened Wednesday at a Meridian Lightweight Technologies factory in MI. Two workers were injured from the explosions and more than 150 workers were evacuated from the 208,000 square foot plant run by Meridian Lightweight Technologies. But the auto makers can make up for downtime, she said.

Ford has only two factories that build the pickup. It halted production in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri.

"Customers won't have a problem finding the model they want", he said.

She adds that it's too early to tell what the overall effect will be on Ford's earnings. But assuming that the damage is repaired and production resumes, Ford shouldn't endure too much of a sales hit.