DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. will return to pre-coronavirus levels of U.S. vehicle production two weeks ahead of schedule, the company said Friday.
The automaker is expected to run normal shift patterns at all of its U.S. assembly plants starting Monday, June 22, ahead of the original target of July 6.
“We are pleased to be able to return to our normal operating pattern in the U.S. on Monday — which is sooner than expected — because our workforce and suppliers are able to support,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement. “The safety of our workforce continues to be our top priority.”
Ford resumed production in North America on May 18 after a two-month shutdown due to the coronavirus. There were some initial hiccups as the automaker briefly halted lines at multiple plants when workers tested positive for COVID-19, but in recent weeks Ford has added shifts and overtime to most facilities. In the first three weeks after the restart, Ford said it hit 96 percent of its volume targets.
The Detroit Free Press reported the new production timeline earlier Friday.
The continued ramp-up will be welcome news to dealers who are desperate for inventory. Ford also wants to normalize production as quickly as possible as it prepares for major product launches at U.S. plants later this year, including the F-150 and Bronco.