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John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-9-2018 A fire at Wangfen Automotive Holding Group’s Meridian Lightweight Technologies plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan has halted production of the Ford F-150. The plant makes structural components like radiator cradles in the F-150 and Super Duty trucks. It also makes instrument housings. Ford says that its business accounts for roughly a third of the plant’s production output. That leads us to wonder if GM might also be affected. “This is a fluid situation, but we are working closely with our supplier and UAW partners to do everything we can to limit the impact on our production,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of Ford global operations, said in a statement. “It’s a full team effort and we’re confident that any impacts will be short term. The good news is we have strong inventories of our best-selling F-series pickups and other vehicles, and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want.” GM says that the company's products may be spared from shutdowns due to shortages. “At this point, there has been no immediate impact to our operations,” confirmed a spokesperson for the carmaker. “Our global supply chain team continues to monitor the situation.” News reports say that the employees recognized the danger. One former employee said, "I'm not surprised it didn't blow up years ago." See video for details. The plant fire also included explosions, which makes it unlikely that a quick return to production will be possible for Meridian. The company specializes in work involving magnesium. Magnesium is flammable and difficult to extinguish once oxidation starts.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4-26-2018 Framingham Massachusetts-based Bose has earned the 2018 General Motors Supplier of the Year Award. The award was presented during GM’s 26th annual supplier recognition day in Orlando, Florida this week. “This is an opportunity for General Motors to honor those suppliers who are truly the best of the best,” said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The automotive industry is transforming at an incredible rate. The relationships we have with our supply base means everything when it comes to delivering a strong vehicle lineup today and the cutting-edge vehicles and mobility services of tomorrow.” During the event, GM took time to recognize 132 of its top suppliers from 17 countries. GM’s awards for best supplier go to companies that consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value, or bring new technological innovations to the company. Bose has now earned the top spot in five of the 26 years the award has been presented. “We have a team of highly dedicated people who support our global work with General Motors, and they make sure our systems consistently exceed expectations,” said Ken Johnson, global director for Bose Automotive’s GM business. “This award is a testament to that commitment and we are incredibly honored by the recognition.” The privately help Bose company was founded by MIT Professor, Dr. Amar G. Bose, in 1964. However, it wasn’t until the early 1980s that Bose began to provide premium audio to automakers. Dr. Bose approached GM with a surprising proposal; That he and his company could make premium audio for cars that sounded better than the best home systems. Bose pioneered tuning audio systems to specific models, a practice that is now commonplace. Coincidentally, Bose is headquartered and does much of its manufacturing and research close to GM-Truck’s members’ homes. We have a number of neighbors proud to work at the company, which has a reputation for hiring the best minds in the region. Bose is considered by many to be one of the best places to work in the Northeast.