Ford confirms it will stop all f-150 production after supplier fire gas exchange in the lungs is facilitated by

"You don’t have multiple suppliers for a complicated part like this one. You have specialty manufacturers because it’s more efficient," he said. "And you can’t just take molds for the casting and ship them to another plant or supplier overseas."

Meridian is the No. 1 supplier in North America for the magnesium radiator support structure, the part that holds radiators on Ford trucks. Magnesium is a light metal that adds little weight and helps with fuel efficiency. When the radiator is filled with coolant, which has the approximate density of water, it gets heavy. So the magnesium radiator support structure hangs on the vehicle providing support.

Ford officials confirmed that Meridian produces the "front bolster," which structurally reinforces the engine where the radiator is attached, for the F-150, Super Duty trucks, Expedition and Navigator. The supplier also makes a third-row seat cushion pan for the Ford Explorer, Ford Flex and the Lincoln MKT, and a lift gate for the MKT.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler buys magnesium instrument panels from the supplier. The speedometer, glove box, steering column support, heating and air-conditioning systems all hang on the cross car beam known as the instrument panel, Vahavkar explained.

Eaton Rapids Fire Chief Roger McNutt said Wednesday, "I would guess about three-quarters of the production area was affected. They’re in there trying to clean that up and get that going again. They plan on being up and running within a couple weeks."

"When you have a vehicle that comprises a quarter of your company’s sales, any production disruption is going to cause some consternation," said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of industry analysis. "This demonstrates the riskier side of Ford’s strategy to put all its eggs in the trucks and SUVs basket — when you’re more dependent on only a few models to drive sales, the company’s bottom line is much more sensitive to these kinds of unplanned setbacks."

Meanwhile, production of the Ford Super Duty trucks has stopped, but no layoffs have occurred, she confirmed. The Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville and the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, the only sites where Super Duty trucks are built, are not scheduled for shutdown. Felker said Ford has continued manufacturing Expeditions, Navigators and other large vehicles uninterrupted. ‘Black swan event’

Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president, product development and purchasing at Ford, called the current situation a "black swan event" and noted that the team has worked with the supplier to recover 19 tools required to manufacture needed materials.

"In the last decade or so, automakers have gone to fewer suppliers to make more of the parts across more model lines," she said. "It’s to simplify manufacturing by dealing with fewer suppliers. But when something like this happens, the effect is massive."

Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa County, Ala., released a statement to local media noting part of the Vance plant was shut down and production shifts canceled for workers May 6 through Wednesday because of the Michigan fire "until an assessment and recovery plan is confirmed."

Despite the damage at the 208,000-square-foot plant, some workers were told they could return to work that day, the State Journal reported. “The blaze apparently originated in an area of the plant called the ‘tunnel,’ where workers put magnesium scraps on a conveyor belt to be melted down."