By on June 7, 2017

2017 Ford Escape Assembly Factory Production, Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is reducing the length of its usual summer suspensions by a full seven days in Kentucky. According to the automaker, production at the Louisville Assembly Plant will resume only “one week” after the normal July 4th shutdown. Like the horrendous Barenaked Ladies song of the same name, the news should prove very popular among a highly specific subset of America — assuming they get paid hourly and weren’t planning an extended vacation.

Normally, Ford takes around 14 days to overhaul factories for the following year’s production, but demand for the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC has just been too high. 

Escape sales from January through May are up more than 6 percent over last year’s numbers — which were also strong — for a grand total of 129,805 units. MKC sales were more modest, but still showed an increase over the same time frame.

“The record sales for Ford Escape through May are being driven by strong demand from our retail customers,” explained Ford’s head for North America Raj Nair. “This is our strongest ever retail start for Escape.”

As a result, the Kentucky-based factory will be the only Ford assembly plant in North America that will shorten its traditional shutdown period. However, several component plants will share Louisville’s extended summer schedule, including Van Dyke Transmission, Sterling Axle, Chihuahua Engine, Rawsonville, Chicago Stamping, Michigan Assembly Stamping and Woodhaven Stamping. Those locations will all break for July 4th and return the following week.

Ford anticipates the limited break should provide an additional 8,500 vehicles for future sale.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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9 Comments on “Crossover Crunch: Citing Demand, Ford Shortens Plant Shutdown to One Week...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Moar production, moar supply, moar decline in used valuations!

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      In your wisdom you would recommend they under-produce and let customers go buy from another OEM instead?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The entire wholesale market is about 30% over valued, I want it to crash and burn.

        Production recovered in 2012, its been five years and they’ve still been able to manipulate valuations so high despite supply increasing every year. Do you really think an MY15 27Kish Camry XSE is still worth anywhere near $19,999 with 37K on it now?

        https://www.carmax.com/cars/toyota/camry/2015

        How about an LE Camry with 29K (prob fleet) for $17,6? The MSRP was only $22,970 and I saw dealers putting them out for $20K with incentives and other chicanery.

        https://www.carmax.com/car/14446617

        Morgan Stanley’s *base* case is a 20% decline by 2021.

        http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default
        /files/images/user230519
        /imageroot/2017/03/31/2017.03.31%20-%20Used%20Car%201.JPG

        A shift back to used cars means fewer new car buyers, which means fewer suckers on 96 month loans, and ultimately lower prices/more incentives on new product. The only other option would be steep production cuts to match weaker demand when it would occur, try messing with manufacturing in Trumpmerica.

        • 0 avatar
          whitworth

          I think it has a lot to do with interest rates still being absurdly low and lending institutions lending to risky borrowers in order to get a higher yield.

          It has created a bubble where ability to pay is no longer an issue so prices for both new and used have gone way up.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Excellent point.

          • 0 avatar
            deanst

            Lending institutions are actually cutting back on higher risk auto borrowers. Defaults have started to climb, so the banks are getting more picky.

            The economy has peaked so look for falling sales, made worse by loans being harder to get. Corporations largely get the memo late, and keep overproducing into the downturn.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        Escape sales were down by almost 10% in may, and up less than 3% year to date. Not sure where the 6% figure came from, unless it is supposed to refer to retail sales.

  • avatar
    brettc

    One the other end of the spectrum, they could probably shut down Michigan Assembly for a couple of months and no one would notice/care except for the workers there.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    Ford should have kept the place closed 2 weeks, because folks who have already paid for their vacations will be calling in sick.

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