Fire at local plant could force thousands out of jobs

Meridian fire causes parts shortages in US

During a conference call with reporters, company officials said late Wednesday that production at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan, truck plant would shut down following the afternoon shift. Meridian Magnesium Products plant is located at Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

With the Eaton Rapids supplier offline, Ford has suspended F-150 production at its Kansas City, MO Assembly Plant and Dearborn Truck Plant, along with Ford F-Series Super Duty production at its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

General Motors' Chevy and GMC brands are launching new full-size competitors to the F-150 and won't have all-new trucks until later this year.

The F-150 is Ford's best-selling vehicle and is the source of most of the automaker's global profit.

The spokesman of Ford said in an interview,"This is an extremely fluid situation, we are working hard to get replacement parts".

Reports from around the industry suggest that earlier this week, Ford had about 84 days' worth of F-Series inventory on hand. Felker also said there's no date on when production would resume at the Kansas City Plant, which also produces the Ford Transit.

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A fire last week at the Meridian Lightweight Technologies plant in MI has led to parts shortages at a number of carmakers' plants and dealers in the US.

Ford said its annual guidance of adjusted EPS between $1.45 and $1.75 would still hold.

"Customers won't have a problem finding the model they want", he said. With parts in short supply, Ford was forced to suspend F-150 production at the two plants that make the popular truck. The company says its working with its supplier base to rectify the parts shortage.

"They are in all-hands-on-deck mode at Ford and the supplier trying to get things going again at a good rate", auto trader analyst Michelle Krebs said.

Daimler and BMW acknowledged that they also had parts shortages from Meridian, resulting in minor production disruptions at their USA plants in Alabama and SC. 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.

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