Ford to ramp up production of Expedition, Navigator SUVs at Kentucky Truck Plant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Ford Motor Co. has halted production of F-Series Super Duty pickups at Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County following a fire last week at a plant in Michigan that makes a component for the trucks.

Kentucky Truck Plant continues to produce the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.

She would not comment on how the move has affected employment for the plant's roughly 8,100 hourly workers.

John Klefot, a benefits representative with UAW Local 862, the union that represents plant workers, told WDRB on Thursday that at least 2,500 to 3,000 workers are temporarily out of a job.

There is no timeline for when production of the Super Duty -- the plant’s biggest product -- will resume.

“This is an incredibly fluid situation,” Felker said. “…We are working really,really hard with the supplier to get it resolved as quickly as possible.”

The Meridian Magnesium Products of America plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan experienced an explosion and fire on May 2, according to the Detroit News.

The plant supplies front-end bolsters for the Super Duty trucks, which sit behind the truck’s grill, Felker said. The truck’s hood latches to the bolster and the radiator bolts into it, she said.

Felker said KTP suspended Super Duty production on May 5.

The parts shortage also prompted Ford to suspend production of its best-selling F-150 pickup models at plants in Kansas City and Dearborn, Michigan, the company said Wednesday.

Super Duty trucks continue to roll off the line at Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. 

"The good news is we have strong inventories of our best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles, and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford's executive vice president and president of global operations, said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822,, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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Chris Otts reports for about business and economic topics, higher education and local / state government. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after seven years with The Courier-Journal. Got a tip? Chris is at 502-585-0822 and