MI supplier fire idles 4000 at Ford truck plant in Dearborn

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Ford will temporarily halt production of the F-150 truck, the U.S.'s best-selling vehicle, because of a May 2 fire at a supplier's facility.

The F-150 is produced only at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants. 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.

"We're confident that any impacts will be short term", said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford global operations, in a media call late Wednesday.

The good news for Ford is that dealer inventories are now 84 days on average, which will ensure supply for consumers at the retail level over the short term.

Insiders suggest the assembly lines could remain idle for several weeks as Ford tries to source the missing parts from elsewhere.

The parts shortage has also spread to General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and BMW AG factories, in addition to leading Daimler to pause production of key Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicles.

Meridian Magnesium Products, owned by the Chinese Wanfeng Auto Holdings is the only supplier in North America that has the ability to supply this product at the volume Ford requires.

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The F-150 has been the top selling United States vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years. So far production of the Expedition, Navigator and MKT are not impacted by the parts shortage.

The fire was at one their suppliers, Meridian Magnesium Products, in Eaton Rapids.

There is no timeline for when production of the Super Duty - the plant's biggest product - will resume.

The F-150 is a brand at Ford that drives profits.

Stock prices have risen since Ford announced the cutback on the truck.

The Meridian plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, also supplies other automakers, but it's not clear yet how wide the impact will be.

While dealers have plenty of trucks on hand right now, including a wide variety of F-150 models, it won't take long for the supply of the bestselling vehicle in America to run low. A Fiat Chrysler spokesperson told The Detroit News the Pacifica production line had been halted.

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