DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford will improve manufacturing of six fashions this yr, half of them electrical, as the corporate and the auto business begin to rebound from sluggish U.S. gross sales in 2022.

The automaker introduced Friday that it plans to construct extra of the Mustang Mach-E, the Bronco Sport SUV and Maverick small pickup, the F-150 Lightning electrical pickup and the Transit and E-Transit fuel and electrical full-size vans.

To assist improve manufacturing, the corporate final yr stated it could add a 3rd shift and 1,100 jobs at its full-size van plant in Claycomo, Missouri, close to Kansas Metropolis, and one other 3,200 jobs associated to constructing the F-150 Lightning which is made in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford may also rent an unspecified variety of new employees this yr at crops in Cuautitlan and Hermosillo, Mexico, the place the Mach-E, Maverick and Bronco Sport are made, in response to spokesman Stated Deep. Manufacturing line speeds will improve shortly to lift manufacturing, with extra employees coming later, he stated.

For greater than two years, U.S. auto gross sales have been depressed largely resulting from a scarcity of pc chips through the coronavirus pandemic. However the chip scarcity is easing and automakers like Ford are beginning to improve manufacturing and construct provides on vendor tons.

General within the U.S., auto gross sales fell virtually 8% final yr to simply below 14 million, with Ford’s dropping simply over 2%, in response to Autodata Corp. However in February, general business gross sales rose 9.5% over the identical month a yr in the past, in response to LMC Automotive, which sees gross sales rising to fifteen million this yr. Ford gross sales had been up virtually 22% in February.

“The business is on its observe again,” stated Jeff Schuster, govt vp of automotive for LMC and International Information.

At crosstown rival General Motors, full-size pickup truck stock rebounded sufficient that it’ll shut down a manufacturing unit in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for 2 weeks beginning March 27 to regulate it.

Ford suspended manufacturing of the F-150 Lightning in February after a battery caught hearth throughout a pre-delivery high quality examine. Deep stated the battery subject has been resolved and manufacturing will resume March 13 to an annual price of 150,000.

Mach-E manufacturing will rise to an annual price of 210,000 by yr’s finish, whereas the corporate plans to spice up Bronco Sport and Maverick manufacturing by 80,000 autos this yr. Transit and E-Transit manufacturing will rise by 38,000 this yr.

Gross sales are up to this point this yr for all of the fashions that can see manufacturing will increase.

The manufacturing jumps are excellent news for customers, who’ve had lengthy wait occasions for some extra standard fashions and have been compelled to pay excessive costs resulting from sturdy demand and brief provides.

J.D. Energy reported that the common U.S. new automobile bought for $46,229 final month, a file for the month of February.

However because the chip scarcity eases and automakers can produce extra this yr, Schuster stated there needs to be some easing of costs even on hot-selling fashions. “I might count on some aid on the pricing entrance,” he stated, including that sticker costs might come down or automakers might provide reductions.

However he stated costs will stay excessive and are not anticipated to return to pre-pandemic ranges.

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