COVID-19 continues to impact nearly every aspect of life for most individuals on planet Earth. For companies that depend on a highly complex, globalized supply chain, the pandemic has also represented an obstacle in bringing back normal production levels. A Ford Authority analysis of 2020 Ford vehicle production in North America paints a pretty clear picture of exactly how much the pandemic has impacted output.
|Model/Plant||10 Months 2020||10 Months 2019||10 Months 2018||2020 vs. 2019||2020 vs. 2018|
|Chicago, Illinois Plant||191,322||175,635||325,792||8.9%||-41.3%|
|Ford Mustang Mach E||1043||0||0||-||-|
|Cuautitlan, Mexico Plant||1043||44,577||55,391||-97.7%||-98.1%|
|Dearborn, Michigan Plant||219,626||315,513||316,852||-30.4%||-30.7%|
|Ford F-Series Chassis||11,628||14,414||15,968||-19.3%||-27.2%|
|Detroit, Michigan Plant||11,628||14,414||15,968||-19.3%||-27.2%|
|Flat Rock, Michigan Plant||65,184||96,641||112,401||-32.6%||-42.0%|
|Ford Bronco Sport||1,379||0||0||-||-|
|Hermosillo, Mexico Plant||113,709||180,553||178,869||-37.0%||-36.4%|
|Kansas City, Missouri Plant||318,655||440,537||417,665||-27.7%||-23.7%|
|Ford F-Series Super Duty||211,432||305,515||292,111||-30.8%||-27.6%|
|Kentucky Truck (Louisville) Plant||285,798||406,884||375,714||-29.8%||-23.9%|
|Wayne, Michigan Plant||85,776||114,712||90,754||-25.2%||-5.5%|
|Multimatic Markham, Ontario Plant||151||225||215||-32.9%||-29.8%|
|Oakville, Ontario Plant||127,260||214,696||192,085||-40.7%||-33.7%|
|Ford F-Series Super Duty||15,037||16,937||12,559||-11.2%||19.7%|
|Ford F-Series Medium Duty||13,826||17,294||11,757||-20.1%||17.6%|
|Avon Lake, Ohio Plant||63,520||78,308||70,050||-18.9%||-9.3%|
Ford’s ultimate cash cow and crown jewel, the Ford F-150, is currently produced at two plants – the Dearborn Truck plant and the Kansas City Assembly.
The Ford Dearborn Truck plant, which is solely responsible for manufacturing the F-150, can pop one truck out every 52 seconds. But production from January through October 2020 is down about 30 percent when compared to the same period in 2019 and 2018. One major contributing factor is the generational changeover for the all-new F-150, which took place in September. The switchover is likely responsible for most of the reduced output, which also seems to have affected sales in November.
Ford vehicle production also took a hit at the Ford Kansas City Assembly plant, with the facility building a total of 318,655 vehicles through October 2020. That figure did not compare favorably to previous years, as production decreased 27.7 percent when compared to 2019 and 23.7 percent versus 2018. Again, the switchover to the redesigned 2021 model likely influenced output.
Other FoMoCo plants are also struggling to match pre-pandemic levels of production. The Ford Chicago Assembly plant, which produces the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, churned out 191,322 vehicles through October 2020. That’s down a staggering 41.3 percent when compared to 2018, although it represents an 8.9 percent increase in Ford vehicle production during the same period in 2019. Problems in launching the 2020 Explorer may have caused disruptions at the plant, so COVID-19 may not have played as much of a factor in Chicago as a cursory glance would suggest.
There are also other FoMoCo plants in North America have reduced output but have not recently experienced a model changeover event. The Ford Flat Rock Assembly plant currently has a line dedicated to the Ford Mustang and until recently, also built the Lincoln Continental. Ford vehicle production at the facility decreased substantially through October 2020, with the facility producing 32.6 percent fewer vehicles compared to the same period the prior year. Compared to 2018, production was down 42 percent.
Even plants that build crossovers are experiencing slowdowns. The Ford Oakville Assembly plant, which builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, suffered a rather steep 40.7 percent drop in output through October 2020 when compared to the figure in 2019 for the same period, plus a 33.7 reduction from 2018. Sales are once again a factor here, with the Edge and Nautilus both experiencing double-digit declines in demand compared to last year.
COVID-19 clearly impacted Ford vehicle production either directly or indirectly. Every Ford plant in North America experienced a minimum 21.2 percent decrease in output throughout October 2020. As a whole, The Blue Oval’s entire North American operation built 28 percent less vehicles during the first 10 months of 2020 than it did in 2019.
Global auto production across the industry was down for about two months, spanning the first and second quarters of 2020 due to the pandemic, with Ford being no stranger to the shut-down. Even so, the Dearborn-based automaker effectively adapted its facilities to resume production and keep workers as safe as possible.