Ford cuts Super Duty production amid dispute with engine maker
The launch of Ford Motor Co.'s new F-series Super Duty pickup is in danger
Less than a week after International Truck and Engine Corp. stopped shipping
diesel engines, Ford Motor is cutting production of the highly profitable
F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty.
Ford is cutting shifts starting Thursday, March 1, at the lone plant in
Louisville, Ky., that builds the F-series Super Duty. No production is
scheduled for Friday, March 2, and daily shifts will be reduced from three
to one starting Monday, March 5, said Ford spokesman Tom Hoyt.
International and Ford are locked in a legal battle over money. Ford sued
International on Jan. 11 over warranty costs related to the old 6.0-liter
Power Stroke engine that powered the F-series Super Duty truck from 2002 to
2007 and over the price International is charging for the 6.4-liter
turbodiesel that replaced it.
Ford launched the 2008 F-series Super Duty this month and is trying to fill
50,000 dealership orders for the big pickup, the most profitable vehicle
Ford sells. Although Ford offers the F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty with
a gasoline engine, about 75 percent are sold with the hard-working diesel.
Buyers of F-series Super Duty trucks opt for the diesel because it can tow
heavier loads and because it gets better fuel economy than the 5.4-liter V-8
or 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engines.
Last year, Ford sold 796,000 F-series pickups, about 25 percent of which
were Super Duty models.
"If they pull a knife, you pull a gun. If they put one of yours in the
hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue."
Sean Connery, "The Untouchables"