As Ford Motor Co. officials said earlier this week it would, the company’s workers at its Dearborn, Michigan truck plant began sending F-150s down and off the line to would-be customers at 6 a.m. this morning.
The plant, along with a sister facility in Kansas City, Missouri, have been idle for the past week in the wake of a fire at Meridian Magnesium Products on May 2. Since that morning, the company scrambled to resume production of parts at the facility. Ford expects to make up the lost production and the supply to consumers was never impacted, officials noted.
The fire, which occurred in the early morning hours, halted production at the two Ford sites as well as at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, General Motors’s full-size van plant near St. Louis and Fiat Chrysler adjusted the run rate of its minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario.
(Ford expects to resume F-150 production on Friday. Click Here for the story.)
Mercedes restarted production of its sport-utility line at its plant in Vance, Alabama, today as well. Ford’s Kansas City plant will resume production of F-150s on Monday. The company’s Louisville, Kentucky site will also resume manufacturing Super Duty trucks too.
The company’s plant in Dearborn, Michigan employs 4,000 people for F-150, while there are 3,600 workers at the Kansas City, Missouri, plant. They are expected to run full production, officials said.
The company said its second quarter earnings will be cut by an estimated 12 to 14 cents per share, but full year results will not be affected. Officials were unwilling to offer lost production numbers because the situation was still unsettled.
(Click Here for more about the F-150 production shutdown.)
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.
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.
(To see more about Mercedes resuming production of its SUVs in Alabama, Click Here.)
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.