An explosion resulting in fire at the Meridian Lightweight Technology’s Eaton Rapids plant in Michigan, US has disrupted the production at some major OEM factories which were being supplied parts from this facility.
Two employees were injured and 150 employees had been evacuated from the 208,000 square feet plant. Meridian is said to be supplying parts to FCA, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and BMW among other OEMs.
FCA’s plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, has been facing parts shortage since the fire. As a realist of this, worker shifts have been shortened at the plant. Meridian supplies inner door frames for Chrysler’s Pacifica.
Ford has been the OEM that has been most hit by the shortage of parts. The production of F-150 and Super-duty pickups at several location across the US have been affected. The production of the F-150 which is one of Ford’s bestsellers, has been halted at its Kansas City, Missouri, and Dearborn, Michigan plants. The F-series Super Duty production has been shut down at the in Louisville, Kentucky plant but the Avon Lake, Ohio plant is continuing to assemble the Super Duty. Ford temporarily laid off 3600 workers until May 14 at the Kansas city plant.
The Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama has halted the production of its SUV models. The company has restructured the production hours and cancelled a few employee shifts. The GLA, GLS and GLE coupe along with the C-class sedan is produced at this plant for sale in North America.
The production of BMW X5 Crossover had been affected. It said that it had an inventory of parts at its South Carolina plant.
GM said that they had no disruptions in production due to shortage of parts and that the situation is being monitored by its supply chain management team.
Meridian Lightweight Technologies expects to rebuild the plant and resume normal operations within four months.