Ford’s North American Plants Run at 114% Capacity image

Today, November 9th, Ford announced that its North American plants are working at 114% of operating capacity.

So far this year Ford has hired 5,200 employees at its US plants and the company announced that its North American facilities are operating at 114% of capacity, the highest level in more than 30 years.

“Our manufacturing costs have gone down this year. Two things are driving that, capacity utilization and entry-level workers. No question, those two things have lowered our costs,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford’s vice president of North American manufacturing.

The automaker’s new agreement with the United Auto Workers offers the company the possibility to pay new hires $16 an hour, a little more than 50% of the veterans’ payment. This year Ford has hired 4,800 entry-level workers and the rest of the jobs went to employees transferring from other Ford plants.

Ford has added third shifts of workers at five of its North American assembly plants. Next year, Ford will also add a shift of 1,200 workers at its Flat Rock, Michigan, factory.