Ford supplier halts shipments in dispute and idles Hermosillo plant

Last Friday Ford supplier Collins & Aikman Corp. halted shipments to the Blue Oval's Hermosillo plant in Mexico over a price dispute. The cut in supply forced the plant to go idle for one shift, which resulted in Ford losing 400 units of the popular Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ. Collins & Aikman supplies Ford with complete interiors for these vehicles, and the dispute was over a price increase the supplier was trying to obtain from the embattled automaker.

Collins & Aikman is working through Chapter 11 reorganization right now and is watching its profits shrink due to rising costs for raw materials. The supplier was apparently trying to pass some of that cost onto Ford, which we imagine would be like trying to squeeze motor oil from a rock. Ford spokeman Paul Wood said that Ford actually had agreed to a price increase before the shipment of interiors had stopped, which makes the move all the more perplexing. Supplying interiors for the Hermosillo plant is Collins & Aikman's biggest contract, and it likely just lost any future business with Ford over this and may have invited a law suit demanding damages, as well. While interruptions in the supply chain do occur occasionally, it's extremely rare for a supplier to intentionally sabotage an automaker's production line, if not completely unheard of. It really brings to light just how desperate some suppliers have become to keep their doors open, and the short work stoppage is just a small sample of what could happen to both GM and Ford if Delphi workers ever choose to go on strike for an extended period.

[Source: Automotive News]

Share This Photo X