Ford will produce up to 40,000 additional vehicles this summer by reducing its summer shutdown in several North America plants from the traditional two weeks to one.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- May 8, 2012
New 2012 Ford Focus coming off the line at Michigan Assembly in Wayne, MI.
Like most manufacturers, Ford aligned their yearly production schedule for a predicted Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 13.5 million new vehicles sold in the US in 2012. Just 5-months into the year, those early forecasts that are based on consumer confidence, housing prices and starts proved to be inadequate. With SAAR now predicting a 14.5 to possibly even 15 million vehicles sold rate through the end of 2012, manufacturers are having to come up with creative ways to produce more product within the confines of a plan set late last year.
In a Ford release from earlier today, the company now expects to produce an additional 40,000 vehicles this summer by idling 13 plants, including six assembly plants, for just one week instead of the traditional two.
The company stated it is the flexibility of the UAW-Ford national contract agreement that allows the company to take this step to better match capacity with better than expected market demand.
In a prepared statement, Ford’s Jim Tetreault, VP of North America Manufacturing said the following:
“We are working most of our North America plants at maximum capacity and we are adding production shifts in three of our assembly plants this month alone. Requiring more capacity from our plants is a good problem to have and having the flexibility to add a week of production in our plants goes a long way toward solving it.”
The Ford assembly plants taking just one week of summer shutdown in 2012 include Chicago Assembly (Lincoln MKS, Taurus, Explorer), Dearborn Truck (F-150), Kentucky Truck (F-250–F-550, Super Duty pickups, Lincoln Navigator), Louisville Assembly (Ford Explorer, Ford Explorer Sport Trac), Michigan Assembly (Focus) and Kansas City Assembly (Escape, F-150).
Other plants taking just one week of shutdown include Dearborn Engine, Chicago Stamping, Cleveland Engine No. 1, Lima Engine, Essex Engine, Sterling and Rawsonville.
Ford’s production boost due to its earlier increasing sales forecasts and altered summer shutdown schedule are coming together to help increase its annual vehicle production capacity by an additional 400,000 units.
All told, this is excellent news for Ford and its employees as well as us with consumer confidence quickly coming back to pre-2008 recession levels.