Ford to Cut Shift at Chicago Plant

The plant, which currently operates on two shifts, builds the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Lincoln MKS sedans, as well as the Taurus X cross/utility vehicle.

Ford Motor Co. in November will cut one shift at its Chicago assembly plant in an effort to better align production with demand.

The plant, which currently operates on two shifts, builds the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Lincoln MKS sedans, as well as the Taurus X cross/utility vehicle.

Demand for the MKS, which recently debuted, remains strong, says Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski.

Despite solid MKS sales, Kozleski declines to reveal if the slow sales of one or more of the models led to the shift reduction.

“We’ve been very aggressive to align capacity with demand, and as we need to, we’re making adjustments relative to production,” she says. “There are a number of things that factor into (the decision), and you can’t attribute it to one product, because (the plant) makes a number of products.”

In August, Taurus sales were off 0.4% vs. year-ago to 4,462 units, while Sable sales slid 10.8% to 1,226, Ward’s data shows. The Taurus X took a significant hit for the month, with deliveries down a whopping 55.1% to 1,670 units. Lincoln MKS racked up 2,374 sales for the month.

Ford has yet to determine how many workers would be affected by the shift reduction, but Kozleski says it’s likely that temporary workers, who number about 600, would be first to go. The facility employs 2,175 hourly and 130 salaried workers, she says.

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