Ford to restart Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant by May 21
Ford Motor Co. plans to restart production of F-Series Super Duty trucks at Kentucky Truck Plant by Monday, the company said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Ford Motor Co. plans to restart production of F-Series Super Duty trucks at Kentucky Truck Plant by Monday, putting about 2,700 hourly workers back on the job after a two-week layoff, the company said Wednesday.
Ford stopped making the big pickup trucks at KTP on May 5 following a fire at a supplier plant in Michigan.
The plant, which employs about 8,100 hourly workers in all, has continued to make Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.
The fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Michigan meant that Ford couldn’t get front-end bolsters for the Super Duty.
The disruption also shut down production of Ford’s best-selling F-150 pickups in Kansas City and Dearborn, Michigan, but those plants are also expected to be running as normal by Monday.
"Stability is a great thing," said Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862. "Our UAW members and workers in the plant, my brothers and sisters, they've always handled adversity exceptionally well as we go back to work. I know it's the stability that our members need."
Ford executives declined to say how many vehicles were not produced as a result of the idling, though they said customers should have no problems finding trucks in dealership lots.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s vice president of global operations, said the company will have to get “creative” to produce more Super Duty trucks to make up for the lost two weeks, including offering overtime to workers once the supply issues are fully resolved and the factory is running at a full clip.
“We will be asking our workers at KTP to help us with some incremental overtime to build some more units,” Hinrichs said.
In Kansas City and Dearborn, the company is looking at shortening its traditionally scheduled two-week shutdown period in July to one week so that more F-150s can roll off the line.
But that option isn’t available in Louisville because KTP was already scheduled for only a one-week summer shutdown.
“The Super Duty production will be a little but harder to make all of it up, but we will be able to make up a lot of it, and that’s our plan,” Hinrichs said.