By on June 2, 2020


There’s a production backlog to be made up for, and industry giants Ford and General Motors don’t want to ease up on the throttle.

Rather than schedule a normal amount of summer downtime for plants and their employees, both automakers plan to pare back their normal idle period for select plants, ensuring a healthy flow of product that’s only just now ramping up after two months offline.

According to Automotive News, a number of plants will see their summer downtime either scrapped or halved to one week. This comes by way of GM itself and a Ford memo distributed by a UAW local.

As both companies seek to restock inventory depleted by the lengthy coronavirus shutdown, certain workers can expect shorter vacations (or, in 2020, staycations) or downtime completely deferred to a later date. That latter scenario goes for most GM plants, which would normally have ceased production for the weeks of June 29th and July 6th, spokesman Jim Cain said.

After coming back online May 18th with new health protocol and a supply chain struggling to get into gear, GM announced last week that it would increase production at its pickup and crossover plants.

For Ford, the need to make up for lost time means summer shutdown will reportedly move from two weeks to one at Chicago Assembly, Louisville Assembly, and Kentucky Truck. Those plants build the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair, and Ford Super Duty, Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator, respectively. The automaker hasn’t officially confirmed the change.

Flat Rock Assembly, home to the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental, will see a similar period of idleness, this one for the week of August 3rd (the other plants will be off the week of June 29th). As for other plants in the Blue Oval fold, they’ll reportedly maintain their traditional two weeks of downtime scheduled sometime between this month and October.

[Image: Ford]

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