LIMA — After a major fire at a major Ford part manufacturing plant in Michigan, Ford Motor Company has now put to a halt the production of the F-150, displacing workers. It is uncertain whether the Lima Ford Engine Plant will be affected.
The fire occurred May 2 at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The fire originated in the tunnel where magnesium scraps are put on a conveyor belt to be melted.
Nearly 150 people were forced to evacuate the building, but only two were injured, according to the Lansing State Journal.
The truck side of the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri shut down and also displaced approximately 3,600 workers due to a part shortage caused by the explosion at Meridian.
There is currently a decision pending regarding whether the Dearborn, Michigan Truck Plant will shut down as well. This shutdown will cause another 4,000 workers to be out of work.
“They will be making a decision soon,”said Ford spokesperson, Kelli Felker in a news release. “We are working closely with the supplier to manage the situation and to determine [the] next steps.”
The F-150 is built only at the two sites, and there is no scheduled date for the reopening the Kansas City Plant.
A letter sent to employees Tuesday from Burkie Morris, UAW president and chairman at the Dearborn Truck Plant, reads as follows:
“The company has informed us that we have enough parts to build vehicles through Thursday. The company is meeting continuously to find a solution to replace and manufacturer (sic) parts that were lost due to the fire at Meridian. According to the company, at some point we will have an interruption in production. At this time, the company doesn’t know for sure when or for how long we will be down. As a result of the fire, there is a great deal of uncertainty in our production schedule at DTP. Adjustments and changes are being made hour by hour as the company is engaged in getting the parts needed to maintain our normal production schedule.”
Efforts to reach out to the human resource manager at the Lima Ford Engine Plant and the UAW president were not successful.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.