Ford announced that it is temporarily stopping production of the F-150 pickup at its Kansas City Assembly Plant due to a parts shortage after a fire and explosions ravaged Magnesium Products of America, a supplier of magnesium parts for instrument panels for several automakers.
Kansas City’s furlough takes place May 7-14 and will see nearly 3,600 workers temporarily laid off. According to Automotive News, the workers will receive roughly 80 percent of their pay.
While the downtime is relatively significant, the Blue Oval says the overall impact to F-150 sales will be minimal. AutoData reports Ford had an 84-day supply of F-Series trucks at the end of April, giving plenty of leeway in the supply chain. What’s more, F-150 production is unaffected at the automaker’s Dearborn Truck Plant. The F-Series is America’s best-selling truck, with 2018’s sales up 4.1 percent over 2017, and 287,295 units delivered through April.
Mercedes-Benz and BMW are also affected by Meridian’s fire. Mercedes confirmed to AL.com that “some of our operations have not been affected by the MPA incident, but we do have some MBUSI shops that will temporarily halt production through Wednesday until an assessment and recovery plan is confirmed”. Mercedes builds the C-Class, GLS-Class, and GLE-Class at its Vance, Alabama assembly plant.
Moreover, BMW’s production of the X5 crossover at its Spartanburg plan was affected on Monday, May 7, during the afternoon and evening hours.
Magnesium Products of America and its parent company, Meridian Lightweight Technologies, say the fire is still under investigation, but production is coming back online. The fire was contained to a small portion of the 208,000-square-foot plant, located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Two workers were injured in the fire and about 150 were evacuated from the site.