A worker builds cars on the assembly line at Ford's Chicago Assembly plant, which has adopted the "three crew" work schedule. The new third shift can increase efficiency in factories, but it can also wreak havoc on sleep needs and home lives.
As car companies struggle to meet growing demand, the third shift is making a comeback. But many factories running on three shifts are doing it differently from in the past. And that new "three crew" shift pattern could make what's normally a hard job even harder.
At Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, employees work 10-hour shifts four days a week. The so-called A crew gets days, while the B crew gets afternoons. But the C crew shift rotates its start time every week. On Fridays and Saturdays, workers start at 6:00 a.m. On Mondays and Tuesdays, they start at 4:30 p.m.
The new all-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV is seen during its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in Los Angeles.
Credit Reed Saxon / AP
The 2013 Honda Fit EV received the best fuel efficiency rating the Environmental Protection Agency has ever issued. The AP reports that the EPA said the electric vehicle gets the equivalent of 118 MPG.
NPR's business news starts with a sign of confidence in the U.S. auto industry.
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INSKEEP: Berkshire Hathaway has bought 10 million shares of General Motors. The company owned by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett spent just over $200 million for that stake in GM. It is the first time Berkshire has invested in an American automaker.
And now to big money that's tied up in a company's pension fund. Tens of thousands of white-collar Ford retirees will soon have a big decision to make: Should they stay in the auto company's pension plan, or take their chances with a lump sum payout instead? The offer is believed to be the first of its kind for such a large, ongoing pension fund.