US: Ford expects to lower summer downtime image

Ford Motor, the second largest US automaker, has recently said it was going to lower the traditional North American factory summer shutdowns to one week instead of two, gaining almost 40,000 units thanks to the strategy.

Six assembly facilities and ten factories will be affected by the plan, with the plants making some of the automaker’s highest-grossing models, such as the record-margin F-150 pickup truck and sport utility vehicles Explorer, Edge and Escape. The F-150 model has been North America’s bestselling vehicle since the 1970s. The affected facilities are located in Chicago; Dearborn, Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; two in Louisville, Kentucky; and one in Oakville, Ontario. The automaker has enacted the plan to address rising sales of bigger vehicles as gasoline prices remain lower than during the same period last year. “To meet surging customer demand for our top-selling trucks and utilities, we are continuing to run our North American facilities during the traditional two-week summer shutdown,” commented in a recent statement Bruce Hettle, Ford vice president of North American manufacturing.

Gasoline prices have averaged $2.75 yesterday, according to AAA – which is 25 percent lower, or around one dollar, than during the same period last year. Instead, Ford is lowering the production output at factories that make smaller cars and hybrids, which have fallen out of favor with the US public fast. Ford also announced back in April it was mulling to lift North American output during the second quarter of the year by 13,000 autos, around 1.6 percent, to a tally of 815,000 cars and trucks.

Via Reuters, Bloomberg