Ford Halts 'All' Production Of F-Series Truck, 'Temporarily' Lays Off Almost 8,000 Staff

Following a fire at a small auto parts-maker’s plant, the supply of key components has been cut off, forcing Ford to halt all production of it's most profitable and popular model - The F-150.

As Reuters reports, 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 Michigan.

The fire, whose cause is under investigation by local authorities, triggered smaller production disruptions to other vehicle manufacturers, but the most significant impact was felt by Ford, whose F-150 full-size pickup is the best-selling vehicle in the US.

Meridian supplies a lightweight radiator support for the F-150 and its heavy-duty sibling, the Super Duty.

“This is an extremely fluid situation,” Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, said by phone. “We are working hard to get replacement parts. We’re working closely with the supplier to manage the situation and determine next steps.”

And now, as CBNC reports, during a media call after hours, Ford has been forced to halt production, which means approximately 4,000 workers at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant will be temporarily laid off, joining roughly 3,600 workers at Ford's truck plant in Kansas City who were told to stay home earlier this week.

“The F-Series platform is critically important to Ford,” said Emmanuel Rosner, an analyst with Guggenheim Securities LLC.

“We estimate it generates annual profits of at least $12 billion for the company, accounting for much more than the totality of Ford’s global” profit.

Bloomberg notes that the shutdowns could cost Ford as much as 15,000 F-150s per week, according to James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research.

How much could stopping production of the F-Series hurt Ford and dealers who rely on the popular pickup truck to generate huge sales? As CNBC notes, that depends on how long the assembly lines are shut down.

"It takes 76 days for an F-150 to sell, so the company does have a bit of a cushion," said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of industry analysis.

"But when you have a vehicle that comprises a quarter of your company's sales, any production disruption is going to cause some consternation."

While Ford said its guidance for the full year was unchanged, it did note - following the shuttering of the second plant - that this production halt "will have an adverse impact" on results.

Additional headlines (via Bloomberg) from the Ford media call:

  • *FORD SAYS ITS PRODUCTION TOOLS NOT DAMAGED IN SUPPLIER FIRE

  • *FORD SAYS SHUTDOWN TO ADVERSELY IMPACT 'NEAR TERM' RESULTS

  • *FORD SAYS 'IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME' TO RESTORE PRODUCTION

  • *FORD SAYS LOST PARTS ALSO USED IN EXPEDITION, NAVIGATOR SUVS

  • *FORD SAYS EXPECTS FINANCIAL IMPACT LIMITED TO 2Q

  • *FORD SAYS IT DOES NOT EXPECT TO LOSE ANY SALES DUE TO SHUTDOWNS

Comments

MoreFreedom Dsyno Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:41 Permalink

Just in time doesn't account for everything that can go wrong. 

I suspect your thought is correct.  Because as others have pointed out, how hard would it be to create the tooling to stamp out radiator supports?  Looking at a picture of one, it appears to be maybe 4 pieces of stamped metal welded together.  A good tool and die guy could probably machine the stamping mold in a week or less, and several could probably do it in a day.  

In reply to by Dsyno

chemcounter Sudden Debt Wed, 05/09/2018 - 21:19 Permalink

There is probably a clause in the supplier contract that states the supplier is responsible for restitution when they are responsible for a shutdown. This is a Chinese owned company...many suppliers will be effected and need to shut down in addition to Ford. This is probably a death sentence to that supplier company although they will probably reopen in China as a new company.

In reply to by Sudden Debt

Billy the Kid King of Ruperts Land Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:28 Permalink

"Two South Florida teens were killed and a third was injured after a Tesla Model S crashed and caught fire, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department said. " - 

Two Teens Dead as Tesla Model S Catches Fire in Fort Lauderdale After Crash

Police say speed believed to be a factor in the fiery crash

Published at 8:25 PM EDT on May 8, 2018 | Updated 25 minutes ago

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

FireBrander Billy the Kid Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:45 Permalink

Idiot parents hand (graduation present?) an 18 year old child a ~$100,000 sportscar capable of 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds; and we're all supposed to feel empathy/sympathy for the parents of the dead kid? I wish they'd been in the car with him.

Ridden motorcycles for 40 years, raced them in my youth, all kinds, all types, all sizes...some still scare the shit out of me...hand one to my 18 year old son?...and then be "heartbroken" when he kills himself and expect empathy/sympathy from everyone? They should stone my stupid ass.

In reply to by Billy the Kid

Hammer of Light FireBrander Wed, 05/09/2018 - 20:18 Permalink

My boy got a 2003 Chevy Suburban 4x4 built like a steel tank... oh wait! IS A TANK of a truck.

WHEN a child gets into trouble behind the wheel and WHEN they hit something or WHEN someone hits him... he's walking away from it alive.

A child that has no experience being given a car that has that kind of torque and acceleration... let me school all the rest of you, it comes with a casket! That's what you call a "mortal lock" of certainty.

The parents should be burned alive themselves for ever buying a kid or giving a kid a car like that. Most people have no concept pf physics let alone some common core teenager. I've ridden bikes half my life and man I know what I'm doing and still terrified of all the traffic. EVERY SINGLE TIME I go out on the bike, I usually have at least one idiot that doesn't see me, let alone when I drive our blown 580HP 69 Malibu SS.

The boy got ole Thunder, a great piece of equipment to learn to master first. I feel much better as a parent letting him go off in that as at least its all steel and heavy duty. Kids do stupid shit, I know this, I was the kid doing mad insane stuff at that age. I had an old Pontiac 77 Grand Prix, an enormous car. WHEN I hit stuff... that car would simply shrug it off as it was all steel with a Pontiac 400 big block to power out of nearly anything. Good lord that thing drank fuel! LOL Cars today are all plastic and aluminum, death traps when they get hit by the guy whose got a all steel vehicle. I only wish I had my 85 Chevy Scottsdale 4x4 to give my boy, that was even heavier duty than the Suburban is. Toughest truck ever built I think.

Be a good parent people, buy your kid an old ass all steel truck to start with. They can hate you for it later! But at least they'll be there to talk about it! Wink!

In reply to by FireBrander

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Hammer of Light Wed, 05/09/2018 - 22:03 Permalink

Good advice! You are right about those old Pontiacs! I had a brand new 2000 Ranger and it was totaled by a guy driving one of those old cars. Took out the whole rearend of my truck. Lucky for me, the box of the truck was enough to protect me. I had pulled over on the shoulder, after going through US customs. Local kid was looking the other direction and rear-ended me with a boat on wheels. The happy ending is both of us were fine. That Ranger bed was steel but it was taken out like butter. I can't imagine letting a kid drive one of these plastic cars. Scary.

In reply to by Hammer of Light

Blankone FireBrander Wed, 05/09/2018 - 20:52 Permalink

Have to agree. But then the driver and one passenger went to a private high school that charges $33,000 a year to attend. Just because money is no object does not mean it's not stupid.

An old classmate supported his son riding on a motorcycle around town. The son died on graduation day when t-boned in an intersection. He had the ROW but was driving aggressively, he lost. Classmate could not see sunlight again, every day a storm until he died early. My thought was - should have been the parent and said no.

In reply to by FireBrander