The fire occurred May 2 at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan.
The F-150 series is one of the bestselling trucks on the market and the company's most profitable. 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.
Ford claims that it only accounts for less than a third of the output from the Meridian plant. "We will be down through the end of the week".
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The precarious situation "demonstrates the riskier side of Ford's strategy to put all its eggs in the trucks and SUVs basket", said Ivan Drury, a senior analyst with the auto website Edmunds. Two people were injured in the fire, and the plant's roof was destroyed in the process. F-Series Super Duty production is down at Ford's plant in Louisville, Kentucky, while the company expects Super Duty production to continue at its assembly plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, according to media reports.
An analyst recently calculated that the enterprise value of the F-Series trucks is greater than that of Ford as a whole.
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The shutdowns could last for several weeks, according to a person familiar with the situation, although plans are in flux as Ford seeks an alternative supply of the missing parts. Therefore, the two plants that make the F-150, located in Dearborn, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri, have both halted production.
So far production of the Expedition, Navigator and MKT are not impacted by the parts shortage.
While the auto industry has a history of working around parts shortages from natural disasters and fires, it may be more hard this time because there are few companies that produce magnesium parts, said Kristen Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research's Industry, Labor & Economics Group. However, Ford says dealers' inventories of the trucks are large enough to prevent a near-term shortage.
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Still, the F-Series is so important to Ford that Guggenheim's Rosner is considering adjusting earnings projections for the automaker once the full effect of the supplier fire is known.