UAW: Overtime canceled amid F-150 frame shortage
A shortage of frames has caused a cancellation of some overtime shifts at Ford Motor Co. plants producing the new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup.
UAW officials say a lack of truck frames — made by Metalsa, a supplier in Kentucky — has forced Ford to cut weekend overtime shifts at its Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant.
“Demand for our F-150 is sky high,” Todd Hillyard, plant bargaining chair for UAW Local 249 in Kansas City, wrote on the local’s Facebook page. “Frames continue to hold both truck plants back from running overtime days on the weekend. (Kansas City Assembly Plant) just canceled the first ‘super Saturday’ for May 30 and (Dearborn Truck Plant) has canceled several ‘super days’ already.”
The shortage has affected shifts for at least a few months.
The plants “have had a few shifts canceled due to a frame supplier not being able to keep up,” Hillyard wrote in a post on UAW Local 429’s Facebook page April 1. “The demand for the new F-150 is very strong and it looks to be a busy year once the supply base is able to keep up with the two truck plants.”
Nick Kottalis, a UAW chairman at the Dearborn Truck Plant, said Friday that Ford told plant workers the situation has been remedied. “We should be getting back to full-scale overtime over the next 30 days,” he said.
Ford did not directly comment on the frame shortage or slowed production.
“We are producing the all-new F-150 at full production at Dearborn Truck Plant and will be at full production this quarter at our Kansas City Assembly Plant,” Ford said in a statement. “As with all our vehicle launches, we are working closely with our suppliers to meet customer demand for the truck.”
On May 1, Ford said the popular pickup was sitting on dealer lots for an average of 20 days. Average transaction prices in April reached a record $42,600, an increase of $3,200 from a year ago, and Ford said 60 percent of truck retail sales in April were of more expensive premium models like the King Ranch, Lariat and Platinum.
F-series sales fell 0.9 percent last month compared to the same time a year ago, and are up 1.4 percent through the first four months of the year.
“Ford F-150 sales haven’t been what some expected, in large part due to production capacity issues and getting more production lines online for the new model,” said Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “Considering production is an issue already, this latest frame shortage development has the potential to hurt the F150’s sales growth even more. Not only that, but as the F-Series is a huge profit maker for Ford, this is definitely something to keep in mind going forward if this issue lasts a while.”