Good news for Ford, although some workers may be disappointed to not be able to take advantage of the traditional two week shut down. Ford needs new cars and trucks to keep rolling off the production lines because so many people are now buying new vehicles. The plan is to add an additional 200,000 vehicles per year and cancelling the summer shutdown will help make up about 40,000 of those. This plan also includes doing more work in fewer plants in order to keep manufacturing costs down. This requires some juggling, including flexible labor contracts and almost round the clock operations. Down time for maintenance on the production lines is not going to be looked upon well in order to reach these goals though.
Jim Tetreault, head of Ford North America manufacturing, comments, “That’s more capacity (added) than (I’ve seen) in my 35 years in the business, that is being added in a very short period of time. We have F-Series plants that are going to produce 320,000 annually.”
Last year was the first year that 400,000 vehicles were produced in order to keep up with the 13% growth increase that Ford enjoyed in the American market for the first four months of this year. To continue keeping up Ford will be adding 3,500 workers to stay in compliance with the 2011 UAW contract that promises 12,000 additional workers to be added by 2015. Most of the 3,500 workers will be hired for the Flat Rock plant to help make more Fusions. Some of them will also be hired on at the Kansas City Plant in to make more F-150 trucks and the new Transit commercial Fan.
General Motors and Chrysler have also been ramping up production to keep up with car sales. General Motors doesn’t have summer shutdowns so their lines stay running without having to cancel any time off. Some Chrysler plants will have a one week shutdown except for the Jefferson North Toledo Plant and the Connor Avenue Plant. These plants will need to continue working without a shutdown.
Source Detroit Free Press