Ford Motor Co. has told its autoworkers and supervisors that it is pivoting to full U.S. production ahead of schedule in an attempt to make up for lost time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are pleased to be able to return to our normal operating pattern in the U.S. on Monday — which is sooner than expected — because our workforce and suppliers are able to support,” said Kelli Felker, Ford global manufacturing and labor communications manager, to the Detroit Free Press on Friday, June 19. “The safety of our workforce continues to be our top priority.”
The company did note that the line speed is unchanged and that it is bringing additional shifts and temporary workers who are members of the UAW in where necessary.
Ford is trying to stock up on its pickup truck supply, which was depleted by the coronavirus factory shutdown from mid-March to mid-May. It is adding staff to the Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant and Chicago Assembly. Its Kansas City Assembly plant in Missouri has already returned to three shifts.
At the Kentucky Truck Plant, the factory will go from just under 6,000 hourly workers to just under 9,000 workers, UAW officials told the Free Press.
Increased production will replenish the supply of F-series pickups, Ford Explorers and Police Interceptors.
The Kentucky Truck Plant, in Louisville, currently makes Ford F-250 to F-550 Super Duty trucks, Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators. The 6 million-square-foot facility typically employs close to 9,000 workers, most of which are hourly employees.