Production of Aluminum Ford F-150 Hampered by Steel Frame Shortage
Shortage Has Cancelled Weekend, Overtime Shifts
The 2015 Ford F-150 has gotten its fair share of headlines lately for its groundbreaking aluminum body construction, but it’s the truck’s more traditional boxed steel frame that is currently causing headaches for Ford. A report from Automotive News says that a shortage of frames has caused Ford to cancel so-called “Super Sunday” shifts, where workers can earn double their normal hourly rate. The Saturday shift at the Kansas City plant has also been canceled until more frames can be supplied.
A plant in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, supplies the frames and is owned by Metalsa S.A., a Mexican company that purchased Dana Corporation’s structural products business in 2010. The company reportedly invested $70 million in 2014 and added 91,000 square feet to the plant in anticipation of high F-150 demand.
Keeping dealers well-supplied with the F-150 is critical for Ford. The F-Series fullsize trucks reportedly account for as much as 90 percent of the company’s profits. The launch of the 2015 F-150 was expensive for Ford and impacted the company’s first quarter 2015 results. aFord CEO Mark Fields assured shareholders earlier this month that the company’s financial performance will improve in the latter half of the year, largely from the two F-150 plants in Dearborn and Kansas City getting up to full capacity.
Source: Automotive News