Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday said it will cut its summer shutdown from two weeks to one week at six assembly plants across the country that make the F-150, Edge, Escape and Explorer to keep up with high demand for those vehicles.
The extra week of production at Ford's Dearborn Truck, Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville and Oakville plants will be used to make an additional 40,000 trucks and utilities, the automaker said. The plants — along with 10 supporting stamping and powertrain plants — will shut down the week of June 29.
Ford's other manufacturing facilities in North America are scheduled to be idled from June 29 to July 10 for building maintenance and machine retooling.
"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 in order to add close to 40,000 units," Bruce Hettle, Ford vice president, North America manufacturing, said in a statement. "Six of our assembly plants will build for an additional week in order to ensure we're getting more of our vehicles into dealerships."
Ford's trucks and utilities were popular in April. F-150 was turning in just 20 days on dealer lots, while Edge spent just 10 days on dealer lots, Ford said. The automaker sold 222,498 vehicles in April, including an April record 62,730 SUVs. Ford utility sales rose 14.5 percent that month.
Automakers will release May sales numbers Tuesday.
Last week, UAW officials posted online that a shortage in F-150 frames has led to canceled overtime shifts for the past few months.
This is the third straight year Ford has kept plants running during summer shutdown to meet demand, Ford said. The increased production was included in the financial guidance Ford confirmed in its first-quarter earnings report on April 28.
Shortened summer shutdowns
In addition to Ford's six assembly plants, the following stamping and powertrain plants will also have reduced summer shutdowns:
■Kansas City Stamping