May 11, 2018 / 9:21 PM / 11 days ago

Ford could reopen two U.S. truck plants next Friday: source

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) could resume production of its best-selling F-150 pickups as early as Friday, May 18 in Dearborn and Kansas City, according to a source familiar with the automaker’s plans.

FILE PHOTO: A 2018 Ford F-150 "King Ranch" pickup truck is displayed during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

Ford shut truck plants in Michigan, Missouri and Kentucky earlier this week because of parts shortages caused by a supplier fire in Michigan.

Also on Friday, Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) said SUV production at its Alabama plant stopped on Thursday because of parts shortages caused by the same May 2 fire at a Meridian Magnesium Products plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

Mercedes said it had exhausted its supply of cockpit cross-members on May 9 and did not have enough parts to resume full production. It said the Alabama plant will reopen next week on a “modified production schedule” while the automaker works with Meridian to restore parts production.

Production of F-series Super Duty pickup trucks at Ford’s Louisville plant remains suspended, but production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator large sports utility vehicles, also made there, has not been affected.

    Ford executives earlier this week said the company’s quarterly earnings could be affected by shutdowns at the three truck plants, but affirmed its full-year earnings estimate.

    Ford said it was working with Chinese-owned Meridian to shift production of the affected parts to other suppliers until the fire-damaged plant can be repaired and production resumed.

    Ford shares were down slightly in after-hours trade, at $11.19.

    (This story has been refiled to correct paragraph five to show that F-series production at Louisville plant remains suspended but production of Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs continues there.)

    Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Dan Grebler

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