Ford To Convert Truck Plant For Small Cars

  • August 28, 2008
Ford Motor says it will spend $75 million to convert a Michigan truck plant to prepare for small-vehicle production.

In November, the plant--one of three Ford truck plants in North America that will be converted to making small cars--will start dismantling tooling equipment for the Expedition and Navigator SUVs, which will be moved to Ford's Kentucky truck plant to begin producing the large SUVs in the second quarter of 2009.

The Michigan truck plant will then start making Ford's global compact vehicles in 2010. Meanwhile, the plant's 1,000 employees will be transferred next door to the Wayne assembly plant, where a third crew will be added in January to accommodate increased production of the Ford Focus.

In 2010, the Cuautitlan assembly, which currently produces F-Series pickups, will begin building the new Fiesta subcompact car for North America. The Louisville assembly, home of the Ford Explorer mid-size SUV, is slated to start production of other small vehicles.

The changes also install flexible production, which allows for quick-reprogramming of equipment so different models and model mixes can be done in the same plant.--Karl Greenberg



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