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Ford Cuts Production of C-Max, Focus to Offset Oversupply

Maker introducing new Transit Connect Taxi to Hong Kong.

by on Oct.22, 2013

Ford is cutting production on the C-Max. It has a 122-day supply of the car: double the ideal number.

Ford Motor Co. continues working to balance its global business by implementing its first significant production cuts in more than a year while pushing plans to open a new market for Ford-made taxi cabs in southern China.

Ford officials said the automaker will temporarily stop producing the Focus and C-Max at the Michigan Assembly plant for two weeks this fall to reduce growing inventories. The assembly plant will be idle for the weeks of Oct. 28 and Dec. 16.

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Inventory of the C-Max, which has been hurt by challenges to its fuel-economy rating, has crept up to a 122-day supply, which is double what most automakers consider as a desirable. With the government shutdown unfolding, Focus started October with a 71-day supply. (more…)

Ford Also Ups Summer Production Plans

Auto recovery keeping domestic makers busy.

by on May.09, 2012

Workers at a Ford plant in Detroit assembling the maker's 2012 Focus.

With auto sales rebounding faster than many had anticipated, automakers are struggling to keep up with demand – including Ford Motor Co., which will add an extra 40,000 units to its production schedule by slashing its normal summer break.  It’s part of a broader effort that should see the maker increase output by nearly a half-million units in 2012.

The move follows the announcement by Chrysler that it will eliminate its two-week July shutdown at four plants and trim the break to just one week at several other factories.  That maker is also racing to add a third shift at its key Jeep plant in Detroit.

Ford says it will cut to one week the summer shutdown at six assembly plants, and seven other component factories – including five facilities in Michigan, two in Kentucky, and one each in Missouri, Illinois, and across the border in Ontario.

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“We are working most of our North America plants at maximum capacity and we are adding production shifts in three of our assembly plants this month alone,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing, said in a statement. “Requiring more capacity from our plants is a good problem to have and having the flexibility to add a week of production in our plants goes a long way toward solving it.”

(more…)

Honda Up, Ford Down as Parts Shortages Spreads

Japanese maker resuming some production, Ford idling pickup, two European plants.

by on Apr.01, 2011

Ford will idle an F-Series pickup plant next week, as well as a facility in Belgium, due to shortages of Japanese-made parts.

Ford Motor Co. will be forced to idled a pickup truck plant in Louisville, KY next week due to a shortage of Japanese-made parts.

The announcement comes even as some Japanese assembly lines begin to roll again.  Honda plans to resume production in its home market starting April 11, though because of the damage done to the Japanese parts supply network those plants will initially operate at only about half their rated capacity through at least April 15th.

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The earthquake and tsunami of March 11th brought many Japanese suppliers to a grinding halt – though direct damage to assembly plants in Japan was relatively limited.  But the subsequent problem with the Fukushima nuclear plant has complicated matters, forcing Japanese suppliers and automakers alike to curb production due to rolling blackouts that have spread across much of the country.

Automakers have so far loss several hundred thousand units of capacity in Japan alone, according to various analysts, Deutsche Bank estimating that all the Japanese automakers will now lose money during the first half of the fiscal year that began today.

“There’s no doubt financial results will be influenced by the earthquake,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda acknowledged during a meeting with reporters at the company’s headquarters in Toyota City, Japan, on Friday. “Ports, industrial complexes and roads are destroyed.”

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