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Ford to shutter 4 plants because of parts shortage

March 3, 2003

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co., the world's second-largest automaker, said it will temporarily shut down four assembly plants next week, earlier than planned, because of an explosion at a supplier's factory in Kentucky.

The company will lay off workers at plants in Atlanta; Chicago; and St. Thomas and Oakville, Ontario, because supplies of acoustic insulation made by CTA Acoustics Inc. and used in many vehicles, aren't sufficient, said spokeswoman Brenda Hines. The Ford plants employ about 10,200 hourly workers.

Supplies of the acoustic parts were reduced on Feb. 20 when an explosion and fire at a CTA plant in Corbin, Kentucky, killed four workers and injured at least 44 people, according to the Associated Press. CTA, a closely held company based in Madison Heights, Michigan, supplies acoustic and thermal insulation to Ford and General Motors Corp.

A message with CTA Chief Executive Officer James Pike wasn't immediately returned.

The shutdowns and cutbacks in overtime this week at other plants in St. Louis; Louisville, Kentucky; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Edison, New Jersey, will ensure Ford has enough parts for its "most profitable and highest volume vehicles," said George Pipas, who tracks sales for Ford.

Ford, based in Dearborn, Michigan, had planned temporary shutdowns at the four plants for later in March and April. Doing the shutdowns earlier "was a convenient, short-term solution" to the part shortages, Pipas said. "There might be some net production losses when it's all said and done," he said without being specific.

The company's Atlanta and Chicago plants build the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable midsize sedans. Oakville produces the Windstar minivans and St. Thomas makes the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis large sedans.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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