By on March 26, 2020

2020 Ford Super Duty

Given the level of uncertainty out there, even best-laid plans rest on a quivering foundation of JELL-O. It’s the same for automotive plant shutdowns in North America — most temporary idle periods carry an open-ended end date. We’ll reassess at that point and make a decision, automakers are saying.

Just two days ago, Ford Motor Company said its shutdowns would go well past the original March 30th end date; now it’s saying some facilities will come back online earlier than thought.

Thursday morning brought this message from Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America:

Ford is aiming to restart production at select plants in North America as early as April 6, bringing key plants back online while the company introduces additional safety measures to protect returning workers.

Ford is planning to resume production at Hermosillo Assembly Plant on April 6 on one shift. On April 14, Ford is planning to start building vehicles at Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant’s Transit line and Ohio Assembly Plant.

Ohio Assembly handles the biggest of the F-Series models, while Hermosillo handles Fusion/MKZ production. To support the reawakened assembly of big-volume, big-margin vehicles, Ford plans to turn the lights on at eight U.S. component and stamping plants by April 14th.

Those plants include two in Dearborn, Michigan, joined by the integrated stamping plants at Kansas City and Kentucky, the Van Dyke Transmission, Lima Engine, and Rawsonville Components plants, and Sharonville Transmission.

“We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary,” Galhotra said.

[Image: © 2020 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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46 Comments on “Juggling Act: Ford’s Shutdown Schedule Revised Again...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    The wild card here is how can you screen workers, and their unknown levels of safety after work.

    That aside, not all jobs are interchangeable.

    We are past the politically-correct shutdown announcement phase, into the greed phase.

    Production has to continue, because God forgid, we repair our current vehicles.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Detroit is why perhaps a pandemic is not a bad thing. Culling the herd works every time. (sarcasm)

    Pity the poor business person who works to make money and to enrich himself. Obviously some think that people who are in business should only do so to make other people wealthy at a wage they should determine.

    Knowing the legal hurdles that businesses that restart will have to jump through, the businesses will be far ahead of the levels of protection that Detroit would know-it-all.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    A return to rationality cannot come soon enough.

    “I have been suggesting from the start that — given how ominously ill-prepared we have let ourselves be — that we must think through targeting the resources we do have to those who most need protection,” he explains. “Evidence from other countries with much better data than we have so far shows that to be: the elderly, and those with chronic disease like heart disease and/or diabetes, and those with significant immunocompromise.”

    What we need to do as quickly as possible, he argues, is to “pivot to a more risk-based concentration of protections” — not only to reduce the chance of overwhelming the health care system but also because many people simply cannot afford to weather such widespread shutdowns financially or psychologically.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/coronavirus-risk-ruin-ideas-hope-david/

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Interesting article. And since you’re into rationality and data, here’s your chance to quantify exactly how much less economic distress this approach causes. Feel free to express that as a percentage of GDP, dollar amount, or whatever other numerical value you find appropriate.

      And good luck with that.

      Social distancing is the only way to control the spread of this illness – which the article you posted also states, by the way – and it is this very social distancing that is causing all this economic distress. It’s not avoidable, no matter how you slice it.

      And now you can go back to calling me hysterical, brain-dead, irrational, or brain-frozen for offering a viewpoint that dissents from yours.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Every argument I’ve made is predicated on this simple idea: there is more than one way to lose or ruin a life, devastate a family- and any of them is bad. Preventing any of them is good. Our goal as a society should be to use the best data we can amass, to inform the best policies we can devise, to minimize total harm. Our job is to save the most people, and families, possible from every variant on the theme of calamitous ruin and loss. Some of this can be done with federal financial support; but much of it cannot.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/coronavirus-risk-ruin-ideas-hope-david/

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the thing about “simple ideas” is the problems they’re meant to solve are never simple.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        That article does make sense, but the problem with it – and thelaine’s whole line of thinking – is that it doesn’t prove how much less economic impact a “staggered” approach would cause, and ignores that if distancing isn’t done across the board, there would likely be additional casualties and infections among people that may not have been infected otherwise.

        Sometimes you just have to bite the f**king bullet, and I think this is one of those times.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          no, his whole line of “thinking” is that he desperately WANTS this all to be an over-reaction, he desperately WANTS to believe this virus is nothing out of the ordinary, and he desperately WANTS to believe the handful of people he finds online who are telling him what he WANTS to hear. so while 9,999 people are saying this thing is seriously bad news, he’ll go latch on to the 1 person (who has no experience with it personally) saying “it’s no big deal.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I think it’s all about setting himself up to look smart. See, when all this is over, and the worst, most apocalyptic predictions fail to come to pass, he can say, “see, I was right – this was all an overreaction.” And everyone will forget about his under-reaction.

            So it goes with keyboard warriors…these guys are STARVING for attention. But in the end, as much as they’d like you to think they’re problem solvers, they aren’t – they just want people to pay attention to them. Reminds me of a certain guy living in a big white mansion in Washington, come to think of it…

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            like those idiots who guffaw about what a non-event Y2K was, because they’re ignorant about the amount of work that went into making sure it was a non-event.

            Dumb people who think they’re smart tend to screw everything up all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Jim, I was friends with a COBOL programmer during the 90’s. He had so much work that the dude literally has his own island now. I was a young sysadmin then and it seems like every day we were kicking a “legacy” system to the curb that wasn’t compliant and standing up something new. In mid November of 99 I shut down an old DEC PDP11 system and we all held our breaths as that was our final non compliant system.

            Yes it was a non event because a herculean amount of work was done to make it so.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          My parents were born in 1919 and both went through the Great Depression. My mother fared better than my dad because her farm was not decimated by “the dust bowl” and also was the youngest girl in the family.
          My father on the other hand was the oldest boy in the family. He was pulled from high school school (was on track to become a teacher) to help keep the farm running. They had to abandon their farm due to drought and poverty. My dad worked multiple jobs and sent money home to his family. He talked about adversity, perseverance, toughness, frugality and pulling together as a family and people pulling together as a community. There was never any talk of “let them die for the greater good” or “they were going to die of something”.

          As I’ve said a few other places on this site, a Godless country with a history of human rights violations and aggressive suppression of freedom was not willing to let SARS-CoV-2 rip through their population to keep their economy running.
          USA, a proclaimed defender of human rights i.e. “Life, liberty and freedom” is considering “let ‘er rip” all in the name of a functional capitalistic society.
          Mind boggling…. just utterly mind boggling….

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            corporations are “people,” and clearly the only people they give a hoot about.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            thelaine,

            if you have all the answers, one has to wonder why you aren’t in charge of this whole thing. You know, instead of just sitting on a car site repeatedly posting links to a blog which apparently does nothing but slobber 45’s knob.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Lou, for some reason after reading your post I now have Rage Against the Machine’s “Ghost of Tom Joad” stuck in my head. Just made me think of the Grapes of Wrath.

            But seriously, your point is not lost.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I just noticed the name of the site mr. thelaine got some of his information from… “americanthinker”

            Alex, I’ll take oxymoron’s for 2.2 million please!

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I just noticed the name of the site mr. thelaine got some of his information from… “americanthinker””

            if there is such a thing as “TDS,” those are the people who have it. Talk about a persecution complex. “Everyone’s just out to get him!”

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      When a virus is in the wild, closing down whole industries and putting people out of work is stupid. It will do little or nothing to slow down the disease, since two-thirds of all new cases come from asymptomatic carriers that will not be identified. Such quarantines are fools’ errands. They prevent people from buying food, paying rent, or keeping the lights on. And they can’t get their medicines. Offloading daily support tasks to others who “aren’t infected” doesn’t change anything, since large numbers of them are actually infected, but we just don’t know it.

      https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/03/when_youre_a_carpenter_everything_looks_like_wood.html

  • avatar
    gasser

    Great thinking!! Use up a finite supply of parts which are interchangeable with other vehicles, to build out more Fusions and MKZs rather than salable vehicles.
    Let’s also use up a lot of disposable gloves and masks on the assembly line so that hospitals can be even more ill equipped.
    Is this what they teach in MBA schools???????

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    April 6 seems early to me, and I wonder how comfortable the UAW is with that. No other activities have such an early restart date.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Thursday’s spike in unemployment claims will inevitably translate into a dramatic rise in the unemployment rate. The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute had projected that between 3 and 3.4 million would claim benefits and that such an increase “would raise the unemployment rate by more than half, by 2 percentage points from 3.5% to 5.5%.”

    At 3.5% in February, unemployment was as low as it had been in half a century before the effects of the pandemic began rippling through the economy.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/new-jobless-claims-soar-to-record-3-3-million-as-coronavirus-wreaks-havoc-on-economy

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      So pay out the unemployment claims and move forward.

      Next?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @FreedMike – Many are seeing this crisis as concrete rationale for the USA to improve its “social safety net”. On the other side of the coin there are those that would rather let people die and let unfettered capitalism run its course. Most of the “let ‘er rip, let ’em die” people are the ones believing that “they” had been left behind by big government and big corporate interests i.e. populist Trumpism. Isn’t “let ‘er rip, let ’em die” a form of that model that ‘they” were protesting against when voting for king Cheeto?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    On a different note, I’m digging that old F250. I’m thinking it is a 1975. The 76 and 77’s evolved towards a more square headlight bezel and then a square headlight in the “78 models. My dad didn’t like the square headlight and shopped around to get a ’77. I’m a big fan of the mid to late 70’s F250’s.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      could be a ’73-76. IIRC the grille/headlamp bezel design depended on trim level, the low-end Custom got the plain egg-crate grille. higher trims would have the split grille and headlight bezels.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @JimZ – The bezel shape did evolve to a “square” over time. Ford has always been enamored with differentiated grills.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          right, but what I’m getting at is that back then Ford did put those simpler egg-crate grilles on low-spec trims; that could be a ’73-’76 Custom while the same years Ranger XLT/Lariat would get the squared headlamp bezels.

          like the Torino, the base Torino had a simple eggcrate grille like this:

          https://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Ford-1973-Torino-fq.jpg

          while the Gran Torino got the nicer grille and separate chrome headlight surrounds- think the Starsky & Hutch car.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @JimZ – great points. In my mind Ford appeared to still have their mojo with pickup styling in the 70’s. I do believe that for the most part, the 70’s is when Ford car styling went down the tubes. I’d love to get my hands on a 70’s era F250 “high-boy” 4×4. My neighbour has a ’79 F250 extended cab 4×4 but not the “high-boy”. He bought it second hand in mint condition and has kept it as his “toy” ever since.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “the 70’s is when Ford car styling went down the tubes.”

            LTD II.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Can’t be an old fullsized truck…It looks roughly the same size as that new Super Duty next to it and I have read over and over on here that New trucks are like 10 times the size of old fullsized trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Art Vandelay – LOL. It must be a Ranger then….

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        These look “roughly the same size”…
        https://antiques.blognook.com/2017/10/05/enrique262past-vs-present-m4-sherman-vs-m1-abrams/

        But then, these don’t *look* the same size at all…
        https://vanessawilgeroth.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/ames-room-illusion/

        Notice the first picture here:
        https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/100-years-of-collectible-chevrolet-pickup-trucks/

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Pop quiz:

          Which rocket is larger?
          https://www.alamy.com/saturn-i-us-space-and-rocket-center-huntsville-alabama-al-nasa-image69724911.html

          And how about now?
          https://alabama.travel/places-to-go/u-s-space-and-rocket-center

          Oops.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Oh I recognize those, I drive by them daily and can see the Saturn V from my office. When viewed together, from any vantage point in the city of Huntsville, the V dwarfs the IB. They have recently spruced up the Saturn V too. You should check that place out.

            Fortunately though, they measure things so we don’t have to rely on trick photography.

            2018 F150
            209-251″ L x 80-86″ W x 75-79″ H

            1980 F150
            197-248″ L x 79″ W x 66-76″ H

            So yeah, other than being within a few inches on every metric, new ones are massive though.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Art Vandelay – I believe that the differences in width are mainly due to improved side impact designs. A door on a 1980’s era truck is thinner than that of a new one.
            Height differences are mainly due to changes in tire sizes and somewhat related to roll over crush strength improvements.
            My 1990 F250 came with tiny 8.50/16’s or basically a 215/85/16. The aftermarket tires I ran were basically stock 2020 tire sizes.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is “within a few inches” of Elon Musk on height. I guess they are the same size.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I think people are just concerned and uncertain of things right now and we should cut each other some slack in the comments rather than resort to bomb throwing.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The virus remains a real threat, but this is how we should pivot and still take it seriously: If you own a business — keep it open. If you have a job — go do it. If you can do equivalent work from home — continue doing it. If you are in management or in a decision-making role — influence your organization to resume normal operation. At the same time, we need to influence our government and media to change the instructions they are communicating to the public. The message needs to change from: everyone stay home, to: stay home only if you are sick or suspect you may be getting sick, or if you have a compromised immune system. Actions our government should take in addition to encouraging people to do their normal work are: Advise/allow all business, organizations, and industries to resume normal operation. Create and publish a list of health factors that would define someone as high-risk for the virus and advise only the high-risk individuals and their care-givers to remain in quarantine.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/03/lets_not_swat_the_mosquito_but_get_hit_by_the_train.html#ixzz6HolW03DB

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The Diamond Princess experience–virtually a laboratory experiment–suggests that around 80% of the population is naturally immune to COVID-19, that half the people who get the disease will experience no symptoms, and that in an elderly population, something like 1% of those who contract the disease will die. So far I don’t see anything in the reported U.S. or global fatality numbers to contradict the Diamond Princess experience.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/03/covid-19-fatalities-so-far.php

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @thelaine – “suggests that around 80% of the population is naturally immune to COVID-19”

      Um……nope.

      There are different types of immunity. SARS-CoV 2 is an entirely **NEW** virus to the human species. Acquired immunity requires prior exposure to the virus. That is how vaccines work. You expose someone to a “deactivated” version/analogue of the virus. The body then builds its defenses. This is the old adage, “An army is always equipped to best fight its last battle”.
      “Innate” is a combination of our own natural barriers and immune system fighting it off. That is why immunocompromised people are at greater risk.

      The Diamond Princess example doesn’t prove any form of “natural immunity” whether it be innate or acquired.

      Well, unless you data mine the internet for stuff that fits your world view. I personally base my knowledge on scientific data and the educated hypotheses of those in the scientific community. that is decidedly different than your approach.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        he seems to be confusing “asymptomatic” and “wasn’t exposed” with “immune.”

        if you weren’t exposed, you won’t get sick, but you’re not immune. If you contract it but are asymptomatic, you might not feel sick but you aren’t immune and you can spread it.

        The contortions thelaine is going through, man, he must look like a krazy straw at this point. people like him really need to stop talking like they know what they’re talking about.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @JimZ – The sad part of all of this is that he has already made up his mind. He is searching for any evidence no matter how weak to validate it.

          Is he trying to convince us or himself?

  • avatar
    B&B? PFFFFTHAHAHA

    LOL. And here we have the B&B(!) in their natural habitat. The comment section joined at their cliquey hips united in shouting down anyone who doesn’t share their obviously superior opinion. And who can blame them, they’ve done everything you’ve done, and MORE! Heck just ask them.

    B&B Y’all(!), so thick you gotta scoop it up with a backhoe.

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