The parts plant in Eaton Rapids, owned by Meridian Magnesium Products of America, supplies three different components for Ford vehicles: a front bolster used in the F-150, Super Duty, Expedition and Navigator; a 3rd row seat cushion pan used in the Explorer, Flex and MKT; and a liftgate inner used in the MKT.
BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are also reporting production disruptions due to the Meridian plant fire. Mercedes' facilities in Alabama have adjusted hours in response to the supply interruption. The Associated Press reports that Ford has an 84-day supply of trucks at its dealerships. "It's a full team effort and we're confident that any impacts will be short-term".
The F-150 series is one of the bestselling trucks on the market and the company's most profitable. The two plants employ around 7,600 people total. He noted that the company has "strong inventories" for its best-selling F-150. The Avon Lake, Ohio plant makes commercial grade trucks, including the "chassis cab" F-350, F-450 and F-550, along with the big F-650 and F-750 heavy duty trucks.
Both local Unifor presidents said it's a temporary change as they continue to evaluate the fire's impact on local production.
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Ford is working with the supplier to shift production elsewhere while it repairs its factory.
Insiders suggest the assembly lines could remain idle for several weeks as Ford tries to source the missing parts from elsewhere.
"They will be making a decision soon,"said Ford spokesperson, Kelli Felker in a news release". The F-Series accounts for the majority of Ford's annual profits.
In 2017, Ford sold 896,764 F-Series pickups in the United States, with the F-150 counting for a vast majority of the sales.
The F-150 is built only at the two sites, and there is no scheduled date for the reopening the Kansas City Plant. Even one missing part from a supply chain is enough to halt production of a vehicle.