Ford F-Series Production Could Resume Sooner Than Expected

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

After a fire that rocked Meridian Magnesium Products of America’s ability to effectively supply automakers, Ford and a handful of other automakers found themselves in trouble. The Blue Oval had arguably the most to lose with its cash cow F-Series trucks seeing production idled for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there is a ray of hope shining through the fog.

Numerous sources are claiming assembly could resume on the F-150 by this Friday. Previous estimates had Ford’s truck production being stalled for weeks. However plants in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri, are believed to resume operations by May 18th. Unfortunately, Ford’s Super Duty pickups at its Louisville truck plant won’t be getting the same treatment. Production for that facility is to remain stalled indefinitely.

It’s still good news for the F-150, however. According to Automotive News, Ford worked out a deal with Meridian to supply enough engine cradles, front-end carriers, instrument panel crossbar beams, liftgate structures and radiator supports for most-popular model. But the Super Duty will have to wait until the supply line can be fully restored.

Ford executives had been worried that company’s quarterly earnings could be affected by the idled truck assembly, but recently reaffirmed its full-year earnings estimate. Presumably, the Super Duty trucks can tap into the company’s pickup surplus and make up for lost time once production resumes.

Other automakers are suffering from supply shortages after the fire at Meridian’s Eaton Rapids factory too. Mercedes-Benz stalled production at its factory in Vance, Alabama, last week, while General Motors did the same for Wentzville Assembly in Missouri. BMW and Fiat Chrysler were also affected by fire, but claimed they could adjust production schedules to avoid a total shutdown. Mercedes has since stated that its factory would resume SUV assembly on modified schedule later this week. But there have been no updates on the other facilities.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on May 14, 2018

    Somewhere a dingo just got kicked. But I'm sure Fleet and base truck orders will get shuffled to the bottom of the stack, combined with slightly reduced incentives, I don't really see a problem here.

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on May 14, 2018

    Let's see, 800K trucks a year at about... wow, CarGurus says the average price of a 2018 F150 was $55K. $44B a year... $120M a day.... $5M an hour.... $84K a minute!!! For that kind of money they might as well make the parts themselves. Especially factoring in margins....

    • Indi500fan Indi500fan on May 14, 2018

      Given that the casting plant is right there in Michigan, I'm sure these folks got more "help" from the Ford boys and girls than they ever dreamed possible.

  • Lorenzo All the efforts made over decades to reduce/eliminate NVH in ICE cars, and now they're putting noise and vibration into electric cars. It reminds me of efforts to make veggie burgers taste like meat. Vegetarians don't want the taste of meat, and meat eaters will want meat, not veggie burgers.
  • Jalop1991 A true golf cart.Sure, it's a penalty box inside. But you're not in it for more than a few minutes at a time during commutes and in between charging stops.Ergo, it's the cart.
  • Zipper69 I'm sure it will sell just fine at all trim levels.I'd only note that IMHO the dashboard is a bit of a busy mess.
  • MaintenanceCosts Why do you have to accept two fewer cylinders in your gas engine to get an electric motor? (This question also applies to the CX-90.)
  • Zipper69 Do they have unique technology that might interest another manufacturer?