Back in May, there was speculation that the Detroit Three automakers would maintain or perhaps even extend their traditional summer shutdowns, mostly due to a bitingly cold winter that saw below-freezing temperatures infiltrate the southernmost reaches of the US, putting a chill on auto sales. Now, though, the numbers are in, and thanks to some promising sales figures, it looks like some domestic line workers are going to be working clear through July, in some cases.
According to Automotive News, Ford has slashed its traditional two-week hiatus for factory workers in half at four of its plants, while both Chrysler and General Motors will keep factories running nonstop (two plants in Chrysler's case and a third of GM's factories).
This is, as we said, thanks to some positive numbers. Chief among those is the Seasonal Adjusted Annual Rate, which was at an eight-year high of 17 million units. Individual figures were less promising. GM, embroiled in its recall scandal, still saw a one-percent increase while Ford dropped six percent in year-over-year sales. Chrysler was the big winner, though, with a nine-percent jump in June.
As for which factory workers will be burning their summer days indoors, Ford will trim the vacations of the teams at its Chicago and Kansas City, as well as both of its Louisville, KY plants. Those factories cover the Ford Taurus, Explorer, F-Series, Escape and Expedition, as well as their Lincoln counterparts.
Chrysler's Jefferson North and Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, in Detroit and metro Detroit, respectively, will remain open. Jefferson manufactures the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, while SHAP is home to the Chrysler 200. GM, meanwhile, is set to maintain production at its truck and SUV factories in Arlington, TX (Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade), Bowling Green, KY (Chevy Corvette) and Flint, MI (Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra).