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FORD TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND F-150 TRUCK PRODUCTION

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Ford will temporarily halt production of the F-150 truck, the U.S.’s best-selling vehicle, because of a May 2 fire at a supplier’s facility. The company said it has an 84-day supply of vehicles in its inventory, so customers “will not have problems finding F-series trucks,” the company said.

The F-150 production has been suspended at their Kansas City, Missouri, plant and was scheduled to be suspended by the end of the shift Wednesday at their Dearborn, Michigan, plant. Ford declined to say how long the shutdown will last, but did not change earnings forecasts and said it would be isolated to the second quarter. The company does not expect to lose sales due to the shutdown and expects to make up the production over time.

“This is a fluid situation, but we are working closely with our supplier and UAW partners to do everything we can to limit the impact on our production,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of Global Operations, in a statement.

Ford says one F-150 comes off the line every minute between the two plants. Ford sold 73,000 F-150s last month.

The Magnesium Products of America, Inc. plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, makes multiple die-cast magnesium components of the F-150, including the front bolster, which is the reinforcement behind the front grille. Ford was able to recover from the fire scene the 19 tool sets it needs to restart production of components, but it will take time to restart the supply chain.

Mercedes-Benz has been affected by the fire, as well. On Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz said the damage at the same plant caused a shortage of components used in the cockpits in some of their vehicles. The company said they had canceled “production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours” while they “continue to assess the situation.”

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