The Ford Motor Company ended truck production at its Michigan Truck Plant on November 26th in a bid to begin switching from building trucks to producing cars at the Wayne, Michigan plant. Ford opened the plant in 1957 as the Wayne Station Wagon Plant. During its more than 50 years of operation, it has produced F-Series trucks, the Ford Bronco, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
Beginning in early 2010 the truck plant will begin producing small, fuel efficient cars for the North American market. These cars are part of a Ford plan to increase production of some of the most fuel efficient cars available in the world while reducing its dependency on big trucks and sport/utility vehicles.
“Ford is committed to delivering a balanced product lineup for our consumers,” said Joe Hinrichs, group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. “The conversion of Michigan Truck Plant represents another step in our transformation plan to meet market demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.”
Production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator will now be moved to the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky., with production of the large SUVs slated to begin there in the second quarter of 2009.
“This great workforce produced quality vehicles up to the very last one they built,” said
Mike Torolski, plant manager. “We now are focused on our next phase – converting the truck plant to a car plant to begin producing global C-car based vehicles in 2010.”
Michigan Truck is one of three truck and SUV plants in North America that will be converted to build small fuel-efficient compact and subcompact vehicles. The conversion of Cuautitlan (Mexico) Assembly, which currently produces F-Series pickups, is underway to prepare for production of the new Fiesta subcompact car in 2010. Louisville Assembly, home of the Ford Explorer mid-size SUV, is slated to start production of yet more unique small vehicles from the automakers global C-car platform the following year.
Currently, the Ford Motor Company is in talks with the US Congress in a bid to secure funding. The automaker says that they have enough cash on hand to see the company through 2009, but assistance from the federal government would help the company to gain the funds needed to complete its transition to building a fleet of smaller, much more fuel efficient cars.
(Source: Ford Motor Company)