According to executives of the company, the Detroit automaker laid out a strategy to build one-third more vehicles globally by adding more factories in emerging markets, restructuring its production methods and running most of its plants around the clock by 2017.
The efforts are an integral part of Chief Executive Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” plan to cut down costs and upgrade output by adopting a unified manufacturing strategy. This plan actually has been the cornerstone of Mulally’s restructuring of Ford over the past seven years.
“As we’ve restructured and kept with our core principle of keeping capacity sized with demand, we’re now able to fully utilize capacity around the world and get our absolute maximum from them,” John Fleming, Ford’s head of global manufacturing, told reporters at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
By 2017, when the company will have around 80 manufacturing facilities, Ford plans to assemble nearly all its cars and trucks only on nine platforms, decreasing from the current 15. By then, Ford factories will be able to build an average of 4 different models or derivatives, up from an average of just 3 now.
Also, 90% of Ford’s global plants will have no less than three shifts by 2017, allowing for a boost in production of around 30 %. At the moment only around 65% of Ford sites run three shifts. The company is also building 14 new plans as part of a global expansion that began in 2011, with new productionlocations in countries like China and India.