Production halted at Ford Essex engine plant

Production halted at Ford Essex engine plant

In the aftermath of halting all production of its best-selling F-150 due to a supplier fire at a Michigan-based plant, Ford says it has a solid inventory of the truck in the US and does not anticipate any sales losses as a result.

Ford sold 73,104 F-150s in April and 287,295 F-Series trucks in the USA in the first four months of the year, up 4 percent from last year. The automaker's other F-150 plant in Dearborn, Michigan, may go down this week, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing speculative matters.

"This is a fluid situation, but we are working closely with our supplier partners to do everything we can to limit the impact on our production", said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations. "We will be down through the end of the week".

"For Ford, this is potentially enormous, It's just tragic", said Abhay "Abe" Vadhavkar, director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

Authorities said there were explosions at the plant and two workers were hurt.

The truck is only built at two USA sites.

Essex engine supplies the V8 engines to plants in Kansas City, Missouri and Dearborn, Michigan.

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Other auto manufacturers are also affected, including Mercedes, BMW, and General Motors. Both have halted production, and it may last several weeks, said CNN Money.

So far production of the Expedition, Navigator and MKT are not impacted by the parts shortage. The F-Series accounts for the majority of Ford's annual profits.

BMW said it's working to find other sources for magnesium parts but until supplies stabilize, it won't build as many X5 and X6 SUVs.

The fire and its effects hit Ford hardest, but production at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes also was disrupted.

Ford has about an 84-day supply of the F-Series truck in dealers' inventories, according to the company. The absence of even one component is sufficient to halt the production chain.

F-150 production at the Kansas City and Dearborn plants and Ford F-Series Super Duty production at the Louisville, Kentucky plant has been suspended, but Ford expects F-Series Super Duty production to continue at the OH assembly plant in Avon Lake. The cause of the fire wasn't known.

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