May 8, 2012 / 6:28 PM / 7 years ago

Ford to shorten "summer shutdown" in North America

The sign outside a Ford dealership in Broomfield, Colorado July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co will shorten its “summer shutdown” at 13 plants in North America to allow it to make nearly 40,000 more vehicles as the No. 2 U.S. automaker strives to meet demand.

The factories will be idled for one week instead of the usual two weeks. Automakers typically use this time to make engineering and design changes at factories for upcoming models.

Ford said last month that it would lose U.S. market share this year as consumer demand for cars and trucks is outstripping the automaker’s capacity to build them.

Most of Ford’s North American plants are at maximum capacity. Ford is adding production shifts this month at three assembly plants that are not at maximum capacity.

“Requiring more capacity from our plants is a good problem to have and having the flexibility to add a week of production in our plants goes a long way toward solving it,” Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing, said in a statement.

Last week, Chrysler Group LLC, the No. 3 U.S. automaker, said four of its North American assembly plants would forego the normal two-week summer shutdown this year due to improved demand.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker, General Motors Co, declined to comment on its production schedule.

Six Ford assembly plants will be closed for one week this summer, including Chicago Assembly Plant, Dearborn Truck Plant and Michigan Assembly Plant. The other plants include Dearborn Engine and Chicago Stamping.

Ford shares were down 1.2 percent at $10.53 on Tuesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; editing by Matthew Lewis

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