DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford Motor Co. will restart production of the F-150 pickup at a Dearborn factory May 18 after more than a week of downtime resulting from a fire at a key supplier plant in Michigan.
The auto maker said F-150 production at a Kansas City, Mo., plant and Super Duty production at its Kentucky Truck Plant near Louisville will resume by Monday. About 7,600 workers who build the F-150 had been placed on temporary layoff while output was suspended; workers who built the Super Duty continued working, building different vehicles at the Kentucky plant.
Ford said it will see an adverse impact on second-quarter earnings of between 12-14 cents per share because of the lost F-150 and Super Duty production. Its full-year guidance remains unchanged at between $1.45 to $1.70 per share.
The fire at the supplier plant broke out early on May 3 and F-150 production at Ford's Kansas City factory went down May 7 and the Dearborn factory was idled May 9.
"Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork," Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing, said in a statement. "Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets."
The fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America in Eaton Rapids, Mich., has rippled across the auto industry. Ford was the first auto maker on-site at the supplier, roughly 24 hours after the fire.
It was able to enter the heavily damaged supplier plant first because it brought along Walbridge, a key construction supplier, who was able to assess the structural integrity of the building.
A work crew located all 19 of Ford's tools—undamaged—and extracted them over 48 hours. Ford said one die weighing 87,000 pounds was moved from Eaton Rapids to Nottingham, England, using an Antonov cargo plane—one of just 21 in the world that can handle such payloads— in just 30 hours door to door.