Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Ford shortens SUV plant shutdown to handle sales rise


June 20, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Jun. 20, 2016 – Ford says its Ford-brand SUVs are seeing their best sales start in company history in the first half of 2016, prompting it to build nearly 22,000 extra SUVs this summer. The increased demand means the automaker will shorten its traditional two-week summer shutdown at three SUV plants to just one week.

The Louisville Assembly Plant (Kentucky), Chicago Assembly Plant (Illinois) and Oakville Assembly Plant (Ontario) and their supporting stamping facilities will shut down only the week of July 4 for building maintenance and machine retooling, instead of the traditional two-week summer vacation shutdown, says Ford in a statement. In addition to the SUV plants, Kentucky Truck will have a shortened summer shutdown as workers prepare for the upcoming launch of the Super Duty truck later this year.

Ford says the rest of the North American manufacturing facilities will shut down for two weeks for regularly scheduled building maintenance and machine retooling.

“Strong customer demand for our SUVs means we will operate some of our North American plants during the traditional two-week summer shutdown,” said Gary Johnson, Ford vice president, North American manufacturing. “Our SUV assembly plants will continue to build vehicles to make sure we have enough of our popular SUVs to meet customer demand.”

According to the automaker, this is the fourth consecutive year it has shortened its summer shutdown at one or more manufacturing facilities due to high customer demand.

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— With files from The Associated Press and Ford