Can Ford Match Demand for the Popular Escape?

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A few years ago, the idea of a U.S. automaker being unable to meet the demand for its vehicles would have sounded ludicrous. But with sales of its F-150 pickups, Fusion sedan, and Escape SUV on a roll, Ford (NYSE:F) is actually facing that happy predicament with the latter two. The popular Escape and Fusion are down to a 40-day supply, according to Ford executives, and the automaker is moving to expand output at several U.S. plants.

The Detroit News reports that Ford is considering adding a third shift for round-the-clock production at its Louisville, Kentucky, plant, while trying to increase the car-per-hour pace at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant in order to account for the heavy demand. A quick check of auto sales thus far in 2013 shows why Ford needs to increase its supply of its compact SUVs and mid-size sedans.

The Fusion and Escape place ninth and 10th, respectively, of all vehicles sold in 2013 through July in a chart compiled by Reuters. Each one has posted nearly 180,000 units sold in 2013, but the Escape’s 20 percent increase compared to 2012 is even more notable than the gains of the attractive Fusion. Both have allowed Ford to eat into the market share of Toyota (NYSE:TM) in California, which had been incredibly difficult for the automaker, The Wall Street Journal reports.