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Ford Restarting F-150 Production on Friday

Production resumes ahead of internal projections.

by on May.16, 2018

Ford will resume production of the F-150 on Friday at the company's Dearborn, Michigan plant.

Ford Motor Co. plans to restart production of the F-150 on Friday after the two plants that build the trucks were idled for nearly two weeks following a parts shortage due to a fire at a supplier plant in Michigan.

The company’s plant in Dearborn, Michigan, which employs 4,000 people for F-150, will begin production on Friday. The 3,600 workers at the Kansas City, Missouri, plant will start on Monday. They are expected to run full production when they return, officials said.

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“While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.”

Hinrichs noted the situation is still in a state of flux and changes “hour by hour.” The company’s second quarter earnings will be cut by an estimated 12 to 14 cents per share, he added. Full year results will not be affected. Officials were unwilling to offer lost production numbers because the situation was still unsettled.

Ford shut down the F-150 line at the Kansas City assembly plant due to a parts shortage.

(Ford halting all F-150 production after supplier fire. Click Here for the story.)

The fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products plant in Eaton Rapids occurred May 2 and Ford officials said it had people on-site that day, helping to clear debris and preparing to remove tooling needed to resume part production.

“When our team entered the Meridian facility it was still smoldering,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing.

(Click Here for more about the F-150 production shutdown.)

Within 24 hours it began extracting tooling, including a 87,000-pound die. The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s facility, and in the case of the 87,000-pound die it move from Eaton Rapids, Michigan, to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov An-124 cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations, said the resumption of F-150 production was quicker than expected.

Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant. Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels.

(To see more about Ford shifting its position on CAFE after pressure from enviro advocates, Click Here.)

The incident also impacted some production at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz to a lesser degree. But Ford was the hardest hit, considering the booming demand for its full-size pickup which has been the nation’s best-selling motor vehicle for decades, nearly 900,000 F-150s sold last year.

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One Response to “Ford Restarting F-150 Production on Friday”

  1. JAE says:

    Money, money, money, MON-NEY…MONNN-NAY!!!

    But in all seriousness, it is VERY good Meridian was able to recover so quickly and adapt, especially moving that die.

    Wish some of our suppliers moved as quickly, even in good times.