UPDATE AT 6:15 P.M. EASTERN — The company is officially suspending all production of the pickup truck at both U.S. plants, according to CNN.
One-hundred fifty workers were evacuated out of an Eaton Rapids, Michigan production plant May 2 as fires and explosions ripped through the large facility. The plant makes parts for instrument panels for numerous automakers.
One of those automakers is Ford, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. They rely on that plant so much for their hugely popular F-150 pickup trucks that they may have to halt production of the vehicle until they can get more parts.
Last year, Autoweek reported that Ford sells so many F-150s that, on average, one is being sold every thirty seconds — all day and every day. For 35 years, Ford’s F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America.
But now, after shutting down production of the F-150 at its Kansas City plant, Ford may have to stop work at its only other plant in Dearborn, Michigan as well, CNN Money reports.
If that happens, though, Ford still has enough F-150s in stock to last an estimated 84 days. However, if the shutdown continues for even one whole month, people looking to get their hands on the steering wheel on a new F-150 may find it harder and harder to find one with the right colors and options they’re looking for.
A 2018 F-150 typically comes with options for different cab sizes, truck bed sizes, engines, 4x4 capabilities, transmissions, upholstery styles, and paint jobs. Those options will become limited if the supply of trucks in the lots dwindles.
Thousands of workers at the Dearborn plant were warned on Tuesday that they could be put on temporary paid leave later this week, according to CNBC.
The United Automobile Workers union said, "The company doesn't know when or for how long we will be down.”
The cause of the fire at the Eaton Rapids plant is still under investigation, but foul play is not the primary suspect, the Lansing State Journal reported. The plant, which has a history of safety violations, is struggling to get even partly back up and working, leaving many out-of-work employees wondering what will be happening when their pay ends on Friday. See footage of the fire below:
What do you think of this? In other news, there’s been a big update in the investigation of former NBC host Matt Lauer.