Most of the news coming out of Ford lately has been pretty negative, with big truck sales in free fall and potentially profitable larger cars like Taurus never even gaining traction in the market. However, there are a few rays of hope. Besides the news about the Fiesta hatchbacks coming to the U.S. market, Ford seems to have a genuine sales hit with the redesigned Focus. While media feedback of its styling has been almost universally negative since it appeared last year, customers don't seem to mind. The combination of its very reasonable pricing and good fuel efficiency have left Ford scrambling to build more of them, says Automotive News (subs req'd). Ford moved 24,000 Focuses in April and apparently sole over 30,000 in May as gas topped $4 a gallon in much of the nation. The Wayne, Michigan assembly plant is already running overtime and Ford is considering all options. The problem is that the market is moving so quickly, it's hard to know what the best course of action is. Ford could add a third shift at the Wayne plant or re-tool one of the truck plants to build small cars. Most likely, they will do both. A third shift can be added a lot sooner than a plant could be re-tooled. This is definitely the kind of problem Ford could use more of.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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