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Ford Restarts F150 Truck Series Production After Fire

By Kirsten Korosec May 16, 2018

Ford is restarting production of the F-150 truck, one of its most lucrative and best-selling vehicles, after it suspended manufacturing following a fire at an auto parts factory earlier this month.

The fire on May 2 at Meridian Lightweight Technologies’ facility in Easton Rapids, Mich. shut down the assembly line, creating a parts shortage for F-150 and Super Duty trucks. Meridian is Ford’s only supplier of the magnesium structure for truck radiators in the United States.

Ford announced Wednesday that production of the F-150 would resume Friday at its Dearborn, Mich. plant now that the Easton Rapids facility is back in operation. Manufacturing of the Super Duty truck is expected to resume at a Kentucky plant by May 21.

As a stop-gap measure, Ford had called in experts and airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for the F-150, the Super Duty, and five other vehicles including the Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator, and MKT

Despite the quick turnaround, Ford expects that the production stoppage would reduce profits by 12 to 14 cents per share in second quarter. The F-series is responsible for about 28% of Ford’s total sales, generating $41 billion in revenue in 2017.

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