A Missouri factory has played a key role in a milestone achieved by Ford Motor Company.
The auto manufacturer’s F-Series pickup is in its 40th consecutive year as the top selling truck in America, and 35th year as the top selling vehicle overall.
Its Kansas City plant in Claycomo is one of four facilities where the truck is assembled. Ford’s Todd Eckert says the operation plays a key role in the success of the F-Series.
“Kansas City remains a really important part of our F-Series business” said Eckert. “We produce all of the configurations that we have from an F-150 perspective there.”
One other Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan assembles the F-150 truck. Two others, the Ohio Assembly Plant outside Cleveland and the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, build F-Series Super Duty trucks.
The Claycomo plant normally operates 24-hours a day and employs more than 7,500 union represented hourly workers covering three-shifts.
It’s currently shut down temporarily because of an oversupply of the manufacturer’s Transit van, which is assembled exclusively at the facility. It’s scheduled to reopen Monday, January 9th after being shuttered for a week.
Ford representative Kelli Felker confirmed a portion of the plant, the “F-150 Side, closed down for a week in October due to a three percent drop in F-150 sales in September. She said short interruptions in production aren’t unusual, serving to balance short term customer demand with inventory.
Assembly line employees with more than a year on the job still received 80 percent of their wages during such work stoppages.
Ford has also stated the temporary shutdown of the Kansas City plant will allow time maintenance of the machinery at the factory.
Eckert says Ford is heavily involved in the communities where its facilities are located. “One of the things that Ford does consistently, that’s held in Kansas City as well, is “Ford Days” where we’re out in the community helping” said Eckert. “Whether it’s Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, food banks, any type of activity that helps the greater community, Ford is always a key part of that.”
He also says the Missouri plant plays a pivotal role in the constructing the F-Series trucks. “Certainly in Kansas, we appreciate all the hard work that both hourly and salary do there, to make us the best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years. Obviously, we couldn’t do it without those outstanding folks.”
Among the innovations Ford has put forth as reasons for the F-Series top sales performance are the introduction of the Super Duty category in 1998, as well as the launching of luxury editions such as the King Ranch and special edition F-150 trucks. The company also claims the shift from steel to lighter aluminum alloy bodies marked a milestone in the F-Series evolution.