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Ford Ramping Up Truck, SUV Production at Five North American Plants

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The 2016 Ford escape S gets 2 mpg int he city and 31 mpg on the highway

2016 Ford Escape

An understanding of the relationship between supply and demand is imperative to a business’ success. Ford has been successful in business for quite some time (more than 100 years, in fact!), so it stands to reason that the company’s decision-makers are more than capable of looking at North American sales trends and, perhaps after a brief scratching of a chin, determine that making more trucks and SUVs and fewer cars is a recipe for success.

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This would explain why, on Tuesday, Automotive News reported that Ford would be idling the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, for an additional five weeks this year. That plant is responsible for manufacturing the Focus and C-MAX, both of which have seen sales decline with the increased popularity of F-Series trucks and SUVs like the Escape, Edge, and Explorer.

Production of both vehicles at the plant is scheduled to end in 2018 in order to reallocate manufacturing of the two vehicles to a new small car plant in Mexico. Meanwhile, it is anticipated that Michigan Assembly will ultimately become responsible for building the Ranger mid-size pickup and Bronco SUV, both of which are rumored to return to the US by 2020.

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On the other hand, Ford stated that five plants in the United States and Canada that make trucks and SUVs would see one fewer week of summer shutdown in order to accommodate increased demand.

Through May, cars accounted for only 42% of new vehicle sales in the United States, down 9% from the same period in 2013. Sales of light trucks, on the other hand, have risen 8.8%. Ford anticipates that SUVs will account for 40% of all new vehicle sales in the United States by 2020.

News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)