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2020 Ford F-150 Manufacturing Begins Again; 2021 F-150 Back On Track

Dearborn and Kentucky truck plants start back up production after two-month shutdown due to pandemic. New and robust safety measures implemented. Ford confirms that 2021 F-150 will still be manufactured this calendar and available for later this fall.

With May 18 here plants are open at Ford manufacturing facilities, albeit with new safety measures put in place to ensure worker safety during a global pandemic. However, 2020 F-150s are back being produced and that is a good thing, as it’s the single most profitable vehicle that Ford makes.That's probably why Ford has begun a series of ads touting the return of American manufacturing jobs.

I reported that the May 18 was set to go for the relaunch of the Ford manufacturing process. The Detroit Free Press reported that the United Auto Workers established a new work schedule to further protect their workers. Workers at the Dearborn Truck Plant will work two 10-hour shifts instead of their usual three shifts, building the F-150.

Kelli Felker, Ford global manufacturing and communications manager, told the Free Press, "We are looking forward to welcoming our employees back to our facilities with all of the proper safety protocols in place to keep them healthy and safe in the workplace."

Dearborn Truck Plant workers

Here’s a list of the facilities that started production today (in some capacity):
• Chicago Assembly Plant
• Dearborn Truck Plant
• Flat Rock Assembly
• Kansas City Assembly in Claycomo, Missouri
• Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky
• Louisville Assembly Plant
• Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne
• Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake
• Woodhaven Forging
• Dearborn Engine and Fuel Tank
• Cleveland Engine Plant in Ohio
• Lima Engine Plant in Ohio
• Rawsonville Components Plant
• Romeo Engine Plant
• Buffalo Stamping Plant in New York
• Chicago Stamping Plant
• Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant
• Dearborn Tool and Die
• Dearborn Stamping Plant
• Woodhaven Stamping Plant
• Livonia Transmission Plant
• Sharonville Transmission Plant in Ohio
• Sterling Axle Plant
• Van Dyke Transmission

Dearborn Truck Plant workers during pandemicF-150 Is An Important Piece of Economic Puzzle
For the first quarter of 2020, sales of the F-150 dropped by more than 13% which was troubling for Ford, as rival Chevrolet gained in the highly-competitive full-size truck segment. Likewise, according to Ford the F-150 accounts for more than $50 billion in global sales revenue. That’s more than the 2019 annual revenues of American Express, Coca-Cola, Cisco Systems and Delta Airlines.

No automaker employs more hourly workers in the U.S. than Ford, which manufactures and exports more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker. Last year Ford built more than 492,000 more vehicles in America than the next highest-producing automaker.

According to Ford the auto industry in general accounts for 2.88 million jobs through suppliers. There are 2.68 million total jobs for all U.S. automakers. Additionally there are 1.51 million total jobs at Ford dealers throughout the country. Many of these people have been furloughed due to the pandemic.

All of this means, as I reported, that getting the economy going and opening America back up after this pandemic, is contingent upon these plants going, and the F-150 production is all-too-important.

Plus, as I also reported, there is a supply shortage of 2020 F-150s at many car dealerships throughout America. Getting more inventory means better deals for the consumers, and more inventory sold at dealerships helps fuel the economy too.

When Will Production Begin For The 2021 Ford F-150?
Ford confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that production of the 2021 F-150 was not going to be delayed as result. Of course, I reported on this and the new schedule for the next-generation F-150 last week. But Ford finally confirmed it.

Felker told the Detroit Free Press: "We are on track to deliver our all-new Ford F-150 to customers starting this fall. The team continues to do an amazing job moving the program forward, even with coronavirus challenges. We look forward to showing the world our all-new pickup soon and start delivering to customers this year."
Here are the current and most recent production dates for the 2021 Ford F-150:

August 13, 2020: Scheduling begins at the Dearborn Truck Plant (DTP)
October 12, 2020: Job One production begins for 2021 F-150 (DTP)
These dates are about two weeks later than we previously reported.

August 27, 2020: Scheduling begins at Kansas City Plant (KCAP)
November 9, 2020: Job One production begins for 2021 F-150 (KCAP)
These dates are about two weeks later now than previously reported.

Dearborn Truck Plant completed 2020 F-150

So, plants are back open. Slowly but surely American companies and American workers are safely re-emerging from the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we aren't through the woods yet, this is a positive step forward. And it's definitely a great move forward financially for Ford, as the Blue Oval looks to rebound from a financially lousy 2020.

Be sure to check out my colleague Marc Stern's report about the manufacturing process beginning for Ford, plus his news that the Ford Bronco will now be delayed as a result of the manufacturing shutdown.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.