LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Ford will shorten its traditional summer shut-down period at Louisville Assembly Plant because of strong demand for the Escape and Lincoln SUVs made at the plant off Fern Valley Road.

Louisville Assembly will be idled for only the week of July 4 instead of the traditional two-week shut-down period, Ford said in a news release Wednesday.

The rest of Ford’s North American plants – including the Kentucky Truck Plant in eastern Jefferson County – will shut down for the traditional two weeks, the company said in a news release.

Ford has sold more Escape and Lincoln MKC vehicles during the first five months of the year than ever before, and the additional week of production will result in about 8,500 more vehicles, the company said.

Ford sold 129,805 Escapes from January to May, up 3 percent from the same period in 2016. That’s despite a 10 percent drop in Escape sales during May, compared to a year earlier.

Sales are up 10 percent so far this year for the MKC, a more niche product, to 11,161.

Sales are also up for the F-Series Super Duty trucks and Expedition SUV made at Kentucky Truck Plant.

Ford sold 351,965 F-Series vehicles, which includes F-150s not made in Louisville, so far this year, up 8.5 percent. The Expedition has come surging back in recent years, and its sales are up 30 percent to 26,316 in 2017.

Asked why Kentucky Truck Plant is not cutting its shut period, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said: "All other plants will have the traditional two-week summer shutdown for building maintenance and machine retooling."

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.