10:55 a.m. ET — Ford Motor expects to have its North America plants back to pre-coronavirus production levels by July 6, Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley said. That includes production of its highly-profitable Ford F-Series pickup trucks.
Since restarting U.S. production on May 18, the automaker has slowly been increasing output at its North American plants. The slower pace is meant to allow time for its suppliers to build inventory and employees to get accustomed to new safety protocols in the plants to lower the spread of Covid-19.
“We’re seeing great, very strong demand. We have for more than a month now,” Farley said during CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “On production, we’re adding second and third shifts now.”
Nearly all of Ford’s plants, Farley said, will be on three shifts or overtime. Ford, according to a company spokeswoman, is continuing to add shifts and production to individual plants ahead of the early-July target. She declined to provide a plant-by-plant schedule.
Ford’s timeline for returning plant employees to work comes a week after GM CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said the automaker expects to return to near pre-coronavirus levels by the end of June, if not sooner. Fiat Chrysler, according to a company spokeswoman, expects employment at its North American plants to return to pre-coronavirus levels the week of June 22. —Michael Wayland