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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 18, 2018 1:00 am


Ford F-150 production to restart

News services

DETROIT – The F-150 pickup is so important to Ford that the automaker devised an international airlift using a rare Russian cargo plane to help restart production on Friday.

“I wouldn't quite call it mission impossible, but it was a race against the clock to get the best-selling vehicle in America up and running,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing. “It truly was a heroic effort by the team.”

Truck production, shut down since May 9, will resume at the Dearborn, Michigan, Truck Plant today, while manufacturing of the F-150 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant and Super Duty at the Kentucky Truck Plant are targeted to restart by Monday, Ford executives announced.

A massive fire May 2 at Meridian Magnesium Products of America in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, dramatically disrupted the North American auto industry by creating a parts shortage for Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes. It triggered unplanned layoffs throughout the U.S.

Wells Fargo workers accused of scheme

Wells Fargo employees in its wholesale banking business allegedly improperly altered information on documents related to corporate customers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The bank is under multiple investigations, and recently was fined $1 billion by federal authorities for improper behavior in its home and auto lending divisions.

Separately, Wells Fargo announced the retirement of Ed Blakey, a 34-year company veteran and head of its commercial capital business. The commercial banking unit is part of Wells Fargo's wholesale banking group, which serves medium-sized businesses.

JC Penney stock declines 14 percent

J.C. Penney blamed weak clothing sales on bad spring weather and said it would offer more plus-size fashions to try and boost sales. The company also cut its earnings outlook for the year and its stock tumbled 14 percent Thursday.

Penney said the cool weather hurt sales of its kids' and women's clothing. Sales of its men's clothing, however, rose as it increased its big and tall selection. It recently hired former basketball player Shaquille O'Neal to hawk its bigger sizes in commercials and plans to launch a fashion brand under O'Neal's name. CEO Marvin Ellison said Thursday that special sizes are the company's “greatest opportunity for growth,” and it is looking to add to its women's plus-size assortment. During the first quarter, the company's sales rose 0.2 percent at established stores, according to FactSet.

Burger King sued over $10 bill issue

A homeless Boston man who was wrongfully accused of trying to use counterfeit cash at Burger King and spent three months in jail is suing the fast food giant.

Emory Ellis says in a lawsuit filed this week that he was discriminated against because he's black and homeless. Ellis was arrested in 2015 after he tried to buy breakfast using a $10 bill that the cashier thought was fake.

The lawsuit says Ellis' arrest resulted in a probation violation that landed him in jail for three months before prosecutors dropped the charge when authorities determined the bill was real.

Burger King Corp. says it can't comment on the case and that the franchisee is responsible for handling all legal matters about the location.