• Ford Escape and Ford Focus orders sharply up, stimulated by C4C
  • Kansas City and Wayne plants see ramped up production in Q3
  • Ford NA vehicle production in Q3 planned at 18% above last year
  • Higher production schedules spread more widely across product range in Q4
  • Ford NA vehicle production in Q4 planned at 33% above last year

Ford has announced that it is increasing North American production by another 10,000 units to 495,000 units in the third quarter as it builds more fuel-efficient vehicles to meet "Cash for Clunkers" demand.

Ford's planned third quarter production now exceeds year-ago production levels by 18 percent.

Ford said that it is looking to ramp up production of the Escape small utility vehicle at the Kansas City (Mo.) assembly plant and the Focus compact car at Wayne (Mich.) assembly plant through additional production shifts and increased overtime.

Ford also plans to produce 570,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, a 33 percent increase versus year-ago levels and 15 percent above planned third quarter 2009 levels. The increase represents higher production across a range of cars, crossovers and trucks
 
"Under the 'Cash for Clunkers' program, the Ford Escape and Focus are flying off dealer lots, and we're doing all we can to ensure our dealers are well stocked with the fuel-efficient vehicles that customers really want," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas.

"We also are planning a significant increase in fourth quarter production compared with last year, continuing to match production to the real demand. We'll need this additional production as even more people are drawn to our high-quality, fuel-efficient lineup, including our newest entries such as the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKT."

Ford says it is working closely with the UAW and its suppliers to ramp up production of the Escape and Focus. At the Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant, for example, employees agreed to work Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21-22, during what was a planned shutdown week. In August and September, Ford will build approximately 3,500 additional Escapes.

At Wayne (Mich.) Assembly Plant, Ford is increasing Focus production by more than 6,000 units in the third quarter through increased overtime Monday through Friday and adding Saturday production shifts.

"This is a team effort with the UAW and our suppliers to meet the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. "We asked our union partners to pull out all the stops - overtime, Saturday shifts, working during the shutdown - and they have delivered."

"Our carriers have been instructed to load Focus, Escapes and Fusions first," said Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

"We want to ensure that dealers have an uninterrupted flow of product, because in many cases, they are selling them as soon as they arrive on the lot."