Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has announced that it will temporarily lay off thousands of workers in its Michigan plant after a fire outbreak last week damaged the plant of a parts supplier. The Michigan plant produced Ford’s top-selling F-150 pickup truck.
The company is facing daunting and unpredictable prospects owing to a sharp drop in sales from its top-selling as well as most profitable vehicles, the F-150 pickup truck. The production of the F-150 pickup truck has been hampered by a shortage of very important parts following the fire incident at the supplier’s plant.
On Tuesday afternoon, workers who produce the F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant were alerted by the United Automobile Workers union that production would be halted later this week. In a letter to the members, Burkie Morris from United Automobile Workers union said that the company cannot tell when it will resume production. Ford is temporarily laying off several workers until the time it will get its assembly line back in production again. Ford has since stopped production of the F-Series at the Kansas assembly plant.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Ford said the auto maker is working closely with the parts suppliers to remedy the situation. Meridian Lightweight Technologies, which specializes in production of vehicle parts, is the supplier of important parts of the F-150.
Its remains unclear of how much the company and its dealers will be hurt as a result of halting the production of the F-Series. The company and many of its dealers have been depending on the popular pickups to earn big sales. Analysts however say the amount of damage will largely depend on the amount of time that the production plant will remain closed.
In April, Ford announced that it had sold a total of 73,104 F-Series pickups. According to the company’s April sales reports, a big majority of the lot sold were F-150. Meanwhile, the automaker ended the month of April with almost a quarter of a million trucks on the ground at dealerships. A big percentage of these vehicles were F-150 models.