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Ford Boosting Production as Sales Heat Up

Maker separately plans to end production in Australia.

by on May.23, 2013

A Ford C-Max Hybrid rolls off the line at the maker's Michigan Assembly Plant.

Ford Motor Company plans to roll-out 200,000 additional vehicles this year to meet customer demand in the U.S.  where the market is continuing to gain momentum after the worst industry downturn in decades.

The maker expects to pick up a large chunk of that added volume by trimming back its normal two-week summer shutdown at select plants. That alone should add another 40,000 units of volume, Ford said.

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At the same time, the second-largest Detroit maker has decided to shutter the company’s manufacturing operations in Australia. The maker has been losing money “down under” for years and follows a number of other automakers who have decided to cease production there.

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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.”

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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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Ford Ups Production, More Increases to Follow

Maker adds incentives to get dealers pushing Sync system.

by on Feb.07, 2011

Ford dealers are running out of the new Explorer.

With its share growing, even as the U.S. automotive market shows stronger signs of recovery, Ford Motor Co. says it will upping production for the rest of the quarter – and is anticipating further increases later in the year.

The Detroit maker says it is struggling to meet demand for some of its newest models, notably the Ford Explorer, the completely-redesigned sport-utility vehicle that was voted North American Truck of the Year, last month, by a jury of 49 U.S. and Canadian automotive journalists.

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Ford says it will now roll out 13% more vehicles than it had originally projected, during the first quarter of 2011, for a total of 555,000 cars, trucks and crossovers.

“We are running flat out right now,” Ken Czubay, Ford’s head of sales, service and marketing, told reporters following a meeting with the company’s retailers, at the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

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