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Ford seen in dispute with parts supplier

Ford Motor Co. for now will no longer consider Collins & Aikman Corp. for future business after the auto parts supplier last weekend cut off deliveries to the automaker, according to a published report.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Ford Motor Co. for now will no longer consider Collins & Aikman Corp. for future business after the auto parts supplier last weekend cut off deliveries to the automaker, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal detailed the dispute Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter that it didn't name. It said Ford had to temporarily shut down production at an assembly plant in Mexico.

Messages seeking comment were left early Wednesday with spokesmen for Ford and Collins & Aikman.

The newspaper said the pricing dispute was over instrument panels, carpeting and other interior plastic parts in which several million dollars were at stake, citing a person familiar with the dispute that it didn't name.

"The relationship has been irreparably harmed," Paul Wood, a spokesman for Dearborn-based Ford, told the newspaper. "We're very disappointed C&A would choose this course of action over a commercial disagreement."

On Friday, Southfield-based Collins & Aikman halted its shipments to the Ford plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and the plant was shut down Friday night and Saturday morning, the newspaper said.

Collins & Aikman spokesman David Youngman confirmed to the newspaper that the supplier halted shipment, but he declined to discuss specifics. He said this was the only time the company had taken such action.

"We are involved in constructive dialogue with all of our customers regarding our restructuring. We are confident we will be able to work through any of the differences we might have," Youngman said.

Collins & Aikman, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2005, is one of the largest auto suppliers in North America.