Ford to Resume F-150, Super Duty Vehicle Production Within Days

Ford to Resume F-150, Super Duty Vehicle Production Within Days

Ford is restarting the F-150 and Super Duty production ahead of schedule.

A May 2 fire severely damaged the main plant at the Meridian Magnesium Products of America factory in Eaton Rapids.

"While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible", said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations.

Returning to full production is likely to take some time as the automaker has scrambled to re-establish manufacturing of critical components from a supplier. The plant makes structural parts with about one-third going to Ford.

Investors have already been anxious that Ford is behind the curve in cost management and new age technologies which include autonomously controlled vehicles. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at Eaton Rapids.

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"We were working around the clock, across the ocean, with the teams there to really get the facilities back up and running", Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's head of purchasing and product development, said on the call.

When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio.

Almost 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian's nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a United Kingdom import license for the die - two hours before the plane touched down. The massive die, used for stamping parts, made the trip from Eaton Rapids to Nottingham, England, in 30 hours, with necessary import documents secured two hours before the plane touched down.

The F-Series is the best selling vehicle in the United States, so Ford acted quickly to get production back on line. The company said Wednesday it still expects the production lag to have an "adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share" on its second quarter earnings, or an estimated $470 million to $550 million.

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