Ford Suspends Production of Flagship F-150 Pickup, Gives Competition Daylight

May 9, 2018 by Douglas A. McIntyre

The F-150 pickup is Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) top-selling vehicle and accounts for over a third of Ford’s unit sales in the United States. It has also been the best-selling vehicle in America by far for decades.

Ford said it needs to suspend production at more than one facility because of supply chain problems. It is one of the rare chances competition will have to try to take market share in the full-size pickup segment.

The company released a statement that said in part:

Ford Motor Company said it is working to mitigate U.S. production losses after a May 2 fire at a parts supplier

Parts shortages resulting from the fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America’s plant supply issue is currently impacting F-150 and Super Duty production at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly, Dearborn Truck and Kentucky Truck plants


Current impacts from the supply shortage, included:

F-150 production is suspended at Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant and will also be suspended at the Dearborn (Mich) Truck Plant at the end of the afternoon shift tonight
Ford F-Series Super Duty production is down at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville. Ford expects Super Duty production to continue at Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake

Ford said its annual guidance of adjusted earnings per share between $1.45 and $1.75 would still hold. However, “the production shortage is expected to have an adverse impact on the company’s near term results.”

In other words, Ford cannot accurately predict the shortfall’s effect.

In the first four months of the year, Ford sold 287,295 F-Series pickups, up 4.1%. Ford’s entire sales for the period were 804,232, down 3.3%.

The full-sized pickup segment of the car industry is viciously competitive. Ford’s lead over the number two Chevy Silverado, owned by General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and number three Dodge Ram, owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) may be the single most important edge Ford has in the American market.  Management of the two brands will rush to do whatever they can to take advantage of the F-150 production interruption.

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