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Ford halting production of F-150 pickup due to parts shortage

New Ford F-150 pickups are displayed on the sales lot at Serramonte Ford on April 28, 2015 in Colma, California.
New Ford F-150 pickups are displayed on the sales lot at Serramonte Ford on April 28, 2015 in Colma, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ford announced that it will suspend production of the F-150 at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan on Wednesday night.

The automaker had already suspended truck production at a plant in Kansas City, Missouri. The two plants are the only ones that make the truck in the U.S.

The shutdowns could last for several weeks, according to a person familiar with the situation, although plans are in flux as Ford seeks an alternative supply of the missing parts. Even one missing part from a supply chain is enough to halt production of a vehicle.

Ford has about an 84-day supply of the F-Series truck in dealers' inventories, according to the company. That's enough that there won't be any shortages in the near term.

But if the shutdown lasts a month, buyers will probably discover the version of the truck they want - the type of engine, or the type of cab configuration or trim - won't be available. Those shortages are typical when vehicle inventory falls below 50 days.

"It's a very fluid situation," said spokesperson Kelli Felker. "We're working very closely with suppliers to resolve the issue and determine our next steps."

A fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant that makes steering columns and dashboards for the F-150 forced Ford to shut down production.

The F-150 has been the best selling US vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years. It's a key profit generator for Ford.

Ford has sold 287,000 F Series trucks in the United States in the first four months of this year, up 4% compared to a year ago. That includes some larger trucks than the F-150, although the F-150 makes up the overwhelming majority of those sales. It also is more than four times the sales of its second best selling vehicle, the Escape SUV.

7,600 workers build F-150 trucks at the two plants. They will get most of but not all of their pay during the temporary layoff.


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