Ford to restart F-Series truck production at 2 factories

Ford (F) said it could restart production of the F-Series pickup as soon as May 18 at two factories that stopped making trucks due to a fire at a parts supplier plant.

A spokeswoman says Friday that production should resume in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City, Missouri. Super Duty pickup assembly in Louisville, Kentucky, will remain idle but workers will keep producing big SUVs.

Earlier this week Ford temporarily laid off 7,600 workers after a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Michigan. A spokeswoman says Ford is working with Meridian and others to get parts. At the time, Ford said it had an 84-day supply of vehicles in its inventory, so customers "will not have problems finding F-series truck."

Also Friday, Mercedes said it ran out of Meridian parts at its SUV plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a result, production was canceled Thursday and Friday. No layoffs are expected. Employees will work next week on a limited schedule.

Ford says one F-150 comes off the line every minute between the two plants. Ford sold 73,000 F-150s last month.