Steel Markets

Ford Supplier Hit by Tornado

Written by Sandy Williams

A major supplier to Ford Motor Company was devastated by a tornado on April 13, potentially adding to the challenges Ford will face in resuming production when the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. The BorgWarner plant in Seneca, S.C., was heavily damaged as winds ripped off the roof and many of the walls, leaving the interior of the facility exposed.

BorgWarner manufactures transfer cases for Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks, a critical transmission part that shifts power to a second drive shaft to run all-wheel-drive vehicles. Initial assessment indicated that the Ford tooling for the part was not materially damaged. The supply disruption could impact production of the four-wheel drive and/or all-wheel drive versions of F-150, Expedition, Super Duty, Explorer, Transit, Lincoln Navigator and Lincoln Aviator, said Ford. Ford manufacturing has been closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, but plans to reopen sometime in the second quarter. 

BorgWarner is still evaluating the damage and is unsure when the facility will be operable.

“Right now, we are focused on developing plans as quickly as possible to bring the site back online, which will include contingency plans in the event the rebuilding effort is estimated to take longer than the sustained closure due to COVID-19,” a spokesperson for BorgWarner said in an email. “Currently, the time to resume operations, partially or in full, cannot be estimated and we have no further updates to provide at this time.”   

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