F-150 not alone: GM, Fiat Chrysler hit by parts shortage

The same parts shortage that forced Ford to suspend F-150 production is causing some headaches for General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and BMW.

The automakers are facing production issues after a large fire took a key supplier’s factory out of commission. The supplier, Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, has been unable to produce its die-cast parts since the blaze on May 2. Ford said F-150 and Super Duty assembly lines at three truck plants shut down after running out of Meridian-made parts, temporarily halting production of a very profitable line of vehicles.

The factory downtime for other car manufacturers isn’t as widespread.

GM has suspended production of GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express full-size vans in Missouri due to the parts shortage, a company spokesperson said. The plant will continue to build Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize trucks.

At Fiat Chrysler, the parts shortage has impacted assembly of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which is made in Windsor, Ontario.

"The company is adjusting production schedules as needed to minimize plant downtime, but will make up any lost production," Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. "FCA continues to work with the supplier’s team on recovery efforts."

Also, BMW will make fewer X5 and X6 SUVs at a plant in South Carolina until its supply of parts returns to normal, the AP reported. Production of the X3 and X4 will continue uninterrupted.

No layoffs were reported by GM, Fiat Chrysler or BMW. About 7,600 Ford workers in Michigan and Missouri were temporarily laid off once production of the F-150 halted.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 44.10 +0.39 +0.88%
F FORD MOTOR CO. 12.16 +0.05 +0.41%
FCAU n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Analysts have said it’s too early to determine if production delays caused by the Meridian fire will adversely impact sales.

Ford assured prospective buyers that its dealers have ample inventories of F-Series trucks, saying the company currently has 84 days’ worth of vehicles. Ford also said its factories can make up for lost production once they are up and running again.

F-150 production was suspended in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri. Super Duty trucks will continue to be made in Ohio while a Louisville, Kentucky, plant waits for parts.