Ford Ramps up Production as Demand for Escape Heats Up

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Ford halts summer layoff to build an additional 8,500 Escape and Lincoln MKC models.

It’s no secret that SUVs are hot right now, particularly small crossovers. Two of the hottest vehicles in that segment are the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC. After enjoying their best-ever start during the first five months of 2017, Ford is responding by slashing a week off their typical two-week summer shutdown. This will allow Ford to build 8,500 additional units to meet customer demand.

The production ramp-up will occur solely at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant. A number of component plants will also take a shortened one-week vacation, including Van Dyke Transmission, Sterling Axle, Chihuahua Engine, Rawsonville, Chicago Stamping, Michigan Assembly Stamping, and Woodhaven Stamping.

Ford Escape

The change comes after Ford sold 129,805 Escape models through May, a 3 percent increase over last year. They also sold 11,161 Lincoln MKCs over that time span, a nearly 10 percent year-over-year increase.

“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 percent versus this time last year.”


The move comes at a time when other automakers ponder the idea of cutting production amid sinking sales. Eliminating a normal shutdown-week boosts production at a plant that’s already running at max capacity in a cost-effective manner. And with current inventory sitting below Ford’s target levels, it’s very much necessary.

The Escape remains Ford’s second best-selling vehicle, behind the F-Series pickup. Given its prodigious power, excellent fuel economy, and reasonable pricing, it looks primed to stay there.

Will you be in the market for either crossover any time soon?

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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