Ford could resume F-150 production as early as next week

What would an F-150 shortage mean for Ford?
What would an F-150 shortage mean for Ford?

Ford could resume production on its F-150 trucks as soon as next week.

The company told employees that they should expect to return to work at its plants in Dearborn, Michigan and outside of Kansas City, Missouri on May 18, a Ford spokesperson said on Friday. The company suspended production at the two plants — the only ones that make the truck — after a fire at a supplier's facility caused it to run out of parts.

The F-150 has been the top selling US vehicle by any manufacturer for more than 40 years. It's a key profit generator for Ford (F).

The automaker halted production at the Dearborn location on Wednesday, after temporarily closing the location in Missouri.

"This is a fluid situation," Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations at Ford said in a statement on Wednesday. He added that "any impacts will be short term."

Ford has about an 84-day supply of the F-Series truck in dealers' inventories, so the company never expected a shortage that would impact clients or dealerships.

Related: How the Ford F-150 became the most important vehicle in America

The fire was at the Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, on May 2.

Ford has sold 287,000 F Series trucks in the United States in the first four months of this year, up 4% compared to a year ago. That includes some larger trucks than the F-150, although the F-150 makes up the overwhelming majority of those sales. It also is more than four times the sales of its second best selling vehicle, the Escape SUV.

7,600 workers build F-150 trucks at the two plants. They will get most of but not all of their pay during the temporary layoff.

— CNN's Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

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