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Explorer demand to keep Ford's Chicago plants busier this summer

Rick

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Ford Motor Company is paring back its traditional summer slowdown in Chicago, in order to keep pumping out Explorers.

Typically, Dearborn-based Ford will idle its assembly plant on Torrence Avenue on the South Side and the company's stamping plant in Chicago Heights for maintenance and retooling for two weeks each summer.

But this year, the company will only take a week off at both, said Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski. The reason: demand for Ford Explorers, a key product for both plants.

Through April, Ford had sold 69,372 of vehicle in the U.S., up 18 percent over the same period last year, according to the firm's April sales report.

“We can't build enough Explorers,” she said. “Our dealers are asking for more and more.”

Five other assembly plants around the U.S. will also take the shorter summer break, according to Adamski. The company has eight assembly plants in North America in all. In addition to Chicago Heights, nine other Ford stamping or power train factories will take a one, rather than, two-week maintenance break this summer.

Around 4,000 people work at the assembly plant on the South Side, where auto workers put together vehicles, including the Explorer. Another 1,200 people are employed at the stamping plant, which produces stamped sheet-metal components for vehicles.

The summer shutdown is scheduled to begin on June 29.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/arti...-keep-fords-chicago-plants-busier-this-summer
 
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