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Ford enjoying best SUV sales year in company history

Louisville plant shortens summer vacation to meet high demands

DEARBORN, Mich. (June 17, 2016) — Ford-brand SUVs, some of which are manufactured in Kentucky, are off to their best sales start in company history in the first five months of the year, prompting the company to build nearly 22,000 extra SUVs this summer.

Ford Explorers and Sport Trac SUVs roll off the assembly line Thursday, July 24, 2008 at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Ky. Bill Russo, Ford's director of manufacturing operations, announced today that the two Ford plants in Louisville will close for up to six months each to retool the facilities to handle new product lines. (AP Photo/Brian Bohannon) ORG XMIT: KYBB108

“Strong customer demand for our SUVs means we will operate some of our North American plants during the traditional two-week summer shutdown,” said Gary Johnson, Ford vice president, North American Manufacturing. “Our SUV assembly plants will continue to build vehicles to make sure we have enough of our popular SUVs to meet customer demand.”

Ford SUVs sales total 325,475 through May of this year, a 9 percent increase versus the same time period last year. Ford has delivered sales gains across its entire SUV product portfolio including Escape, Edge, Explorer, Flex and Expedition.

Louisville Assembly Plant, Chicago Assembly Plant and Oakville Assembly Plant and their supporting stamping facilities will shut down only the week of July 4 for building maintenance and machine retooling, instead of the traditional two-week summer vacation shutdown.

In addition to the SUV plants, Kentucky Truck will have a shortened summer shutdown as workers there prepare for the upcoming launch of the all-new Super Duty truck later this year. The remainder of Ford’s North American manufacturing facilities shut down for two weeks for regularly scheduled building maintenance and machine retooling.

This is the fourth consecutive year Ford has shortened its summer shutdown at one or more manufacturing facilities due to high customer demand for its products.

The increased production was included in the second quarter production guidance that Ford provided on April 28.