Wall Street shrugs off Ford cutback in F-150 production

Thursday May 10, 2018
Written by The Associated Press
May 10, 2018 - There are no apparent signs that Wall Street is worried about a plant fire that is forcing Ford to cut back on production of its F-150 pickup, the top-selling vehicle in America.

The company suspended F-150 and Super Duty production in Kansas City, Missouri; Dearborn, Michigan; and Louisville, Kentucky. A May 2 fire severely damaged the Meridian Magnesium Products of America factory near Lansing, Michigan. The plant makes part of the trucks’ front structure that holds up the radiator.

About 7,600 workers are on temporary layoff because of the fire.

Ford says it’s working with suppliers to limit the impact on production. “It’s a full team effort and we’re confident that any impacts will be short-term,” Joe Hinrichs, executive vice-president and president of Global Operations, said in a statement.

The company said it still has an ample selection of trucks at U.S. dealerships. At the current sales rate, Ford Motor Co. has enough trucks to last 84 days.

The company said Wednesday that the parts shortage and production cuts will have a short-term impact on earnings, but Ford is sticking with full-year guidance of adjusted earnings per share of $1.45 to $1.70.

Ford shares rose six cents to $11.12 in early trading Thursday.

Ford expects to continue Super Duty production at a factory in Avon Lake, Ohio, near Cleveland.

The Meridian plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, also supplies other automakers, but it’s not clear yet how wide the impact will be. The cause of the fire wasn’t known.

Authorities said there were explosions at the plant and two workers were hurt. The mayor of Eaton Rapids told the Lansing State Journal that the plant's roof was destroyed. People reported feeling the blasts miles away.

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