Ford to restart F-150 production Friday

Ford F-150 Production

Ford F-150 Production

Ford Motor Co. plans to restart F-150 production at its Dearborn, Michigan, plant on Friday, about a week after it had to shut down following a fire at a supplier's facility.

One of the dies, weighing in at 87,000 pounds, was moved to a plant in Britain via a 30-hour flight on a massive Antonov cargo plane, the company said.

"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.

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

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According to a release, work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. "Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets". Between export approvals, shipping logistics, and actual transportation, such a die shipment typically takes about 10 days.

Almost 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian's nearby factory. Teams removed and dealt with safety concerns - including dangling siding - and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smouldered inside.

In Kansas City and Dearborn, the company is looking at shortening its traditionally scheduled two-week shutdown period in July to one week so that more F-150s can roll off the line. In between, the Ford team received a United Kingdom import licence for the die - a mere two hours before the plane touched down. The Eaton Rapids plant is producing truck parts again.

Ford said it expects the loss of F-Series production will lower its second-quarter financial results by as much as 14 cents per share, but it didn't reduce its forecast for a full-year adjusted profit of $1.45 to $1.70 per share.

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