BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are also reporting production disruptions due to the Meridian plant fire. The company has an 84-day supply of F-150 on dealer lots nationwide so there shouldn't be any shortages, though buyers after a specific trim, engine, and body configuration might be out of a luck if inventory falls under a 50-day supply.
"This is a fluid situation, but we are working closely with our supplier partners to do everything we can to limit the impact on our production", said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations in a statement. Dearborn is the primary assembly plant for F-150 production and employs around 4,000 workers.
The plants that produce the F-150 are in Kansas City and Dearborn.
The F-150 pickup is Ford's best-selling model, as well as its most profitable. The Kansas City facility employs some 3,600 people while the plant in MI has 4,000 employees.
Ford says one F-150 comes off the line every minute between the two plants.
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Meridian Magnesium Products plant is located at Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The automaker also has stopped building F-Series Super Duty pickups at a factory in Kentucky, though it continues to make them in Ohio.
"The F-Series platform is critically important to Ford", said Emmanuel Rosner, an analyst with Guggenheim Securities LLC. The shutdowns will adversely impact Ford's second-quarter earnings, but the company expects to compensate for this later.
Ford has said it doesn't know how long it will be before it can resume production of the F-150, as it scrambles to find a supplier who can provide it with the parts it needs. It's a key profit generator for Ford.
While the downtime is relatively significant, the Blue Oval says the overall impact to F-150 sales will be minimal.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's head of product development and purchasing, said the automaker was the first company on site at the parts plant after the fire and was able to recover 19 sets of production dies over a 48-hour period. This would be a temporary halt of all production of the nation's bestselling vehicle.