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Ford to restart F-150 production after key supplier fire

Ford to restart F-150 production after key supplier fire

by Justin King

Teams scrambled to recover production dies from the supplier's severely damaged magnesium parts factory.

Ford has announced plans to resume F-150 production in Michigan on Friday and Kentucky on Monday, minimizing downtime after a fire severely damaged a supplier's magnesium parts factory.

The May 2 inferno at the Meridian Magnesium plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, forced Ford to halt production of America's best-selling nameplate amid growing demand.

Teams from Ford and several suppliers scrambled to recover 19 dies from the damaged facility. Reflecting the urgency to restart production, one 87,000-pound die was loaded into an Antonov An-124 cargo plane and shipped to another Meridian site in Nottingham, UK, in just 30 hours door-to-door.

"Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork," said Ford's executive VP of product development and purchasing. "Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets."

The blaze interrupted the supply chain for all of Detroit's Big Three automakers and some foreign rivals, but Ford was disproportionately affected.

"Inventories of Ford's best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won't have a problem finding the model they want," Ford says.