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.
“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.”