Ford Cranks Up Overtime to Meet Cash for Clunkers Demand

By Staff Report

Aug. 13, 2009

Ford Motor Co. is cranking up production of the Ford Focus after strong Cash for Clunkers demand put the compact in short supply.

The automaker has added weekday and Saturday overtime at its Wayne, Michigan, plant, said Anderson Robinson Jr., president of UAW Local 900. The additional overtime will mean about 6,400 additional Focuses coming out of the plant between now and the end of September, he said.

On Monday, August 10, the Wayne plant began working 10-hour weekday shifts, up from regular eight-hour shifts. The plant also will work Saturdays on August 15 and 29 and September 12 and 26.

Two of those Saturdays already had been scheduled, Robinson said, but dwindling supplies of the Focus triggered the additional hours. Focus sales rose 44 percent in July, and the automaker ended the month with a 25-day supply of the compact.

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said she can’t share details but acknowledged that “we are taking some actions to add production at Wayne.”

Some dealers say they are sold out of the car.

“Cash for Clunkers, thank you,” Robinson said.

Ford also discussed postponing the plant’s summer shutdown, which is scheduled for next week, but opted for the additional overtime instead, he said. After 13 weeks of inventory-related shutdown earlier this year, the added overtime is “very exciting,” Robinson said.

Through August 5, the Focus was the second-most popular vehicle sold under the Cash for Clunkers program, according to data released by the Department of Transportation.

Updated figures are not yet available.

Filed by Amy Wilson and David Barkholz of Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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