A fire at a supply factory in MI has halted a production line for one of Ford's most popular truck series. Production at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes also is disturbed. Mercedes' facilities in Alabama have adjusted hours in response to the supply interruption. However, Ford says dealers' inventories of the trucks are large enough to prevent a near-term shortage.
Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs said that Ford "is confident that any impacts will be short term", and indicated that inventories of the F-150 are "strong".
7,600 workers build F-150 trucks at the two plants. Ford announced that it was suspending production of all F-150s, as well as the Super Duty, due to a May 2 fire at a parts factory.
The F-Series accounts for more than one third of the total vehicles the company sells each month, according to Ford's April report, and it has remained the most popular pickup franchise in the United States for the past four decades. There are 700 employees at the plant but D'Angelo is not sure the exact number of people who will have shifts changed. The company produced more than a million pickup trucks in 2017, while sales in the US totaled around 896,000 to mark a 12-year high.More news: Scientist ends life at Swiss clinic listening to 'Ode to Joy'
The supplier issue has also halted Ford Super Duty production in Kentucky, although that plant will continue with a reduced workforce to produce other Ford products.
Production of the Explorer, Flex, MKT, Expedition and Navigator is not expected to be halted, Ford said. But the problem for Ford in particular is that the F-150 is its most profitable product. The shutdowns may last for several weeks. The cease in production, which spans multiple plants and Ford vehicles, stems from a fire at one of the company's suppliers last week.
"The F-Series platform is critically important to Ford", said Emmanuel Rosner, an analyst with Guggenheim Securities LLC.
Wall Street is not anxious about the fire at the Ford Plant which caused cut backs on the production of the F-150.