Spurred by rising demand for its best-selling vehicles, the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has announced plans to increase its North American manufacturing capacity by 200,000 vehicles in 2013. The rapid expansion will be seen through a series of production-line developments, as well as a shortening of its normal summer shutdown to one week from two.
While the Dearborn, Mich., automaker has not disclosed numbers related to its total capacity, the company built 2.8 million vehicles in the region last year when it was working near full capacity.
Ford, which posted record profits in North America for Q1 2013, will reduce its normal summer shutdown to one week at most of its North American plants – a plan that will add 40,000 units of capacity, the company said.
The second-largest U.S.-based automaker recently said it would add a third shift to its Kansas City, Mo., F-150 pickup truck plant, adding 900 workers. In addition, the company is also is adding a shift of workers to an assembly plant near Detroit that will make the Fusion sedan as well as the Mustang.
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“To meet surging customer demand for our top-selling cars, utilities and trucks, we are continuing to run our North American facilities at full manned capacity,” Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing, said in a statement.
Tetreault goes on to suggest that 75 percent of Ford’s plants are running at a three-crew, three-shift or four-crew patterns. Three shifts at a plant is considered beyond "full capacity," which typically is two shifts running 40 hours a week.