Ford U.S. will increase production for deliveries to US dealers by 13% in the first quarter of 2011 and is mulling adding third shifts to some of its plants.

The automaker says it is able to ramp up production in the first quarter of 2011 because sales to individual buyers rose 27 percent in January. Ford’s overall sales, including those to big fleet buyers such as rental car companies, rose 9 percent last month.
In the recent past, Ford production has slowed down or stopped at some plants for short periods of time due to a lack of supplier parts. This situation combined with the increase in the demand for Ford vehicles, has made Ford work overtime to catch up with the demand.

“We’re trying to catch up to just the customer demand,” Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing chief, told reporters at the National Automobile Dealers Association conference in San Francisco.

Since the new Explorer is quite in demand, Ford’s Chicago plant would possibly offer new job opportunities for job seekers. This could also mean that workers would be allowed to work overtime to meet the demands for this SUV.

Ford expects the U.S. economy to expand 3% to 4% in 2011 and U.S. auto sales to be in the range of 12.5 million to 13.5 million vehicles.



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