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>> A massive blaze at a vehicle supply factory in Michigan earlier this month is still rippling through the U.S. auto industry with devastating effects for Ford. On Wednesday, the company said it was forced to halt production of the F-150 pick up truck, the best selling vehicle in North America at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan.
The fire had already forced Ford to shut down truck production at plants in Missouri and Kentucky. Ford is now scrambling to get production back online. Reuters Global Transportation Editor Joe White is in Detroit.>> The F-Series truck line is the centerpiece of Ford's profitability right now and will be for years to come.
The F-150 is the light duty pickup truck. The Super Duty are the heavier duty more commercially focused trucks. Between all the F-Series trucks, they probably produce about $41 billion worth of revenue for Ford which the company has said. And profits that are probably equivalent to almost the entirety of Ford's global profit.
They're hugely profitable, absolutely central to Ford's business. And so any significant disruption to production of these vehicles is a big problem for Ford, which is why they mobilized teams of people to go out to this plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan to deal with this disaster.>> Firefighters were called to Chinese owned Meridian Magnesium Products in the early morning of May 2nd.
The Meridian facility makes a lightweight radiator support for the F-150 and its larger sibling, the Super Duty. The fire, which authorities are investigating, triggered smaller supply disruptions at GM, Fiat Chrysler, Daimler and BMW, those companies said. Ford on Wednesday said the fire will affect the firm's second quarter earnings, but not its full year outlook.