Ford f-150
All-new Ford 2015 F-150 pickup trucks move down the final inspection line at the Ford Rouge Center in Dearborn, Michigan, Nov. 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

Toward the latter end Friday, Ford, via spokeswoman Kelli Felker announced the company hoped to resume production of F-150 pickups as early as next Friday, May 18, the Detroit Free Press reported.

A fire on May 2, wrought severe damage on the main plant of the Meridian Magnesium Products of America factory in Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

The Washington Post reported that this caused production problems for Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. The first of whom, depended on the factory for approximately one-third of its structural parts.

The company was forced to lay off about 7,600 workers due to the break in production of the F-series pickup trucks. Speaking at the time, director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Abhay Vadhavkar, said : “The impact on everybody else is going to pale compared to Ford, For Ford, this is potentially enormous."

This was confirmed by Ford executive vice president and president of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs who acknowledged Wednesday: "We have to rebuild the whole supply chain," the Detroit Free Press reported.

Speaking late Friday, Felker said: “Our teams are working tirelessly and around the clock to get our bestselling vehicle back into production as fast as possible. This situation remains very fluid.”

Earlier on Friday, chief legal officer and public affairs director for Meridian Magnesium Products of America Benjamin Wu had told the Free Press: “We’re trying to have production up as soon as possible. It’s safe to say before June 1.”

Earlier In the week, Ford had said it was looking to move required equipment in the supply of key parts from Meridian operations in Ontario, although, the huge logistics involved would be challenging.

Ford, during a shareholder call, said it was working aggressively to help with reconstruction, repair and salvaging of the tools needed to produce the “front bolster” of the F-150. The part structurally reinforces the engine where it is to be attached to the radiator.

The factory also produces a third-row seat cushion for the Ford Explorer, Ford Flex, and the Lincoln MKT, as well as a lift gate for the MKT.

“Our die casting is down. We have 15 total machines. We believe three or four machines are down permanently. But right now, roofing is the biggest issue. We don’t want to fire things up without following safety protocols. We think we can power up eight machines in the near term if the facility is repaired,” Wu said, referring to the damages suffered.

“Our Canadian facility started building parts three days ago. They’re building parts for us and then shipping them back to us so the machines in Michigan can do secondary finishing work,” he added.

Ford is a top player in the North American Market when it comes to trucks. The F-Series vehicles along with the company’s Expedition and Navigator account for much of that.