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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.

Your Auto Source!

“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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Dealers, Suppliers Also Seeking Bailout

Another $10 billion in federal assistance needed

by on Feb.04, 2009

Thousands of dealers could soon close their doors

Thousands of dealers could soon close their doors

With January numbers taking a deep dive – the fourth month in a row with an automotive sales downturn greater than 30 percent – domestic and import automakers alike are struggling. But the biggest impact is arguably being felt off the assembly line. A growing number of auto partsmakers, as well as automotive retailers are facing collapse.

Scores of auto suppliers have already declared bankruptcy, in recent years. Some, like Tower Automotive, a major metal stamping firm, have been able to restructure and emerge from Chapter 11, others, like giant Delphi remain mired in bankruptcy, and a growing number of others, like the minority-run Plastech, have been forced to shutter their operations. Analysts like Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting, believe the latter option is going to be seen more and more often before any recovery takes hold.

The situation isn’t much better on the retail side. As the Detroit News reports, in today’s edition, almost 1,000 dealers closed their doors in 2008. And the National Automobile Dealers Association finds the situation is only getting worse. Reportedly, dealers are struggling to pay back at least $10 billion in outstanding loans. Chrysler forced one Chicago-area dealer to close about half of his showrooms when it became clear he couldn’t cover more than $500 million in debt.

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