A recent fire at a Michigan auto supplier plant may cause Ford to stop production of its most popular vehicle, the F-150 pick-up. Ford previously halted production at its Kansas City plant, the only other making F-150s.
Insiders say that the shutdown may last several weeks, but no definitive time table has been set. Said Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker, "It's a very fluid situation ... We're working very closely with suppliers to resolve the issue and determine our next steps." CNN reports that Ford has an 84-day supply of F-Series trucks in its dealers' inventories, mitigating the chance for any short-term shortages.
The F-150 has been the best selling US vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years. It's a key profit generator for Ford. Ford has sold 287,000 F Series trucks in the United States in the first four months of this year, up 4 percent compared to a year ago. That includes some larger trucks than the F-150, although the F-150 makes up the overwhelming majority of those sales. It also is more than four times the sales of its second best selling vehicle, the Escape SUV.