Demand for SUVs such as the Ford Escape is holding up, despite softer conditions in the US marketplace this year

Demand for SUVs such as the Ford Escape is holding up, despite softer conditions in the US marketplace this year

Ford says its Escape and Lincoln MKC sales are off to their best start in company history during the first five months of the year, prompting the company to shorten the traditional two-week summer shutdown at Louisville Assembly Plant to build more than 8,500 additional vehicles there.

"The record sales for Ford Escape through May are being driven by strong demand from our retail customers," said Raj Nair, Ford's executive vice president and president – North America. "This is our strongest ever retail start for Escape, with retail sales up more than 6% versus this time last year."

Ford Escape sales totalled 129,805 through May of this year, a 3% increase versus the same time period last year and our best ever start to the year for Escape. Lincoln MKC sales totalled 11,161 in the first five months of the year, up approximately 10% over this time period last year.

Louisville Assembly Plant is the only assembly plant in North America that will shorten the summer shutdown period. The remainder of Ford assembly plants in North America will have a traditional two-week summer shutdown.

Portions of a number of component plants will take a one-week summer shutdown, including: Van Dyke Transmission, Sterling Axle, Chihuahua Engine, Rawsonville, Chicago Stamping, Michigan Assembly Stamping and Woodhaven Stamping. Those plants will be closed in the week of 4 July for building maintenance and machine retooling.

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