Friday, 25 May, 2018

Experts warn Ford's F-150 problem could hurt stock

Ford Could Halt Production Of America's Best-Selling Vehicle For Weeks Fire at local plant could force thousands out of jobs
Jan Cook | 13 May, 2018, 01:18

Just as auto sales start to heat up, Ford is facing the daunting prospect of seeing a major drop in the supply of its best selling and most profitable vehicle, the F-150 pickup truck.

Production of the larger Ford-Series Super Duty was also paused at the Louisville, Kentucky plant, but production will continue at an additional plant in Ohio.

A fire on May 2 at a Eaton Rapids, Michigan plant operated by Meridian Lightweight Technologies stopped production of die-cast components used in F-150 and Super Duty trucks. Those are the only plants that make the truck.

Ford Motor Co. announced it will end F-150 production Wednesday night after the second shift ends because of a lack of parts from a supplier.

One Monday the company idled F-150 production at its plant in Kansas City, Missouri until May 14th, temporarily laying off 3,600 workers of the plant.

BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are also reporting production disruptions due to the Meridian plant fire.

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Production of the F-150, the most important vehicle in Ford's showrooms, has ground to a halt.

Production of the Super Duty at Ford's Kentucky truck plant will run "day to day", based on the availability of parts, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.

Those shutdowns could last for several weeks.

Despite the shutdowns, Ford said it has 84-days supply of F-Series on dealer lots, which exceeds the 60-days that is considered an ideal level of inventory. Burkie Morris of the UAW wrote that "the company doesn't know when or for how long we will be down", in a letter to the members. Two workers were injured in the fire and about 150 were evacuated from the site.

While the production shortage is expected to have an adverse impact on the company's near term results, the company's guidance of delivering an adjusted EPS in the range of $1.45 to $1.70 for the full year is unchanged.

Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing at Ford, said in his own video that Ford was notified of the fire about six hours after it occurred.

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