A fire at a Chinese-owned auto parts plant in MI has cut off supply of key components and disrupted production of crucial Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG models, with the USA automaker already saying it'll hurt profit in the second quarter.
Other impacts from the supply shortage, included suspension of F-150 production at Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant and at the Dearborn (Mich) Truck Plant.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz also said output has been disrupted.
Despite the shutdowns, Ford said it has 84 days' supply of F-Series, which exceeds the roughly 60-day level that's generally considered an ideal amount of inventory. "We're confident that any impacts will be short term".
If a lack of instrument panel components is not resolved quickly, however, it could become very problematic for the automaker and especially painful for more than 7,600 workers who could be temporarily laid off until production of the F-Series resumes.
Ford says they are suspending production of the F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant. Two people were injured in the fire, and the plant's roof was destroyed in the process.
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F-150 trucks are a multibillion dollar enterprise.
The assembly plants can not move forward without parts from Meridian Lightweight Technologies, which suffered an explosion at its facility in Easton Rapids, Mich. But the Super Duty will continue to be made at Ford's OH assembly plant in Avon Lake.
Both local Unifor presidents said it's a temporary change as they continue to evaluate the fire's impact on local production. But the problem for Ford in particular is that the F-150 is its most profitable product.
The shutdowns could last for several weeks, according to a person familiar with the situation, although plans are in flux as Ford seeks an alternative supply of the missing parts.
The F-150 is built only at the two sites, and there is no scheduled date for the reopening the Kansas City Plant.
It should be noted that Meridian is looking for a new facility to set up stamping operations, but that takes time and until the company produces more chassis components, Ford F-Series production is halted.