Flat Rock plant to hire 1,000
AutoAlliance begins rolling out new Ford Mustang this year
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News
FLAT ROCK — Just over 1,000 more workers will be needed at a Flat Rock assembly plant where production of the redesigned Ford Mustang begins later this year.
The plant is operated by AutoAlliance Inc., a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and its Japanese unit, Mazda Motor Corp. Some of the jobs will be filled by Ford workers displaced by last week’s closure of a pickup plant in Edison, N.J., as part of the company’s cost-sutting efforts. Once this pool is exhausted, Ford will consider applications from the public.
Ford has begun hiring for complicated jobs that require extra training. Hiring will continue until a month before Mustang’s fourth-quarter production launch.
How many jobs will filter down to the public could depend on what happens at Ford plants such as Chicago Assembly and Dearborn Assembly. In a bid to attract experienced workers, representatives from those plants — as well as Flat Rock — have been attempting to recruit Ford workers from Edison and elsewhere.
“We’re already getting people that are calling City Hall under the assumption that they are going to increase the work force,” said Flat Rock City Clerk Dennis R. Mowbray.
The new jobs would be welcome, Mowbray said, noting the plant has benefited from city tax abatements.
Flat Rock Treasurer Brenda Tallman said a 12-year, $18 million abatement was approved in 1985 as an incentive for Mazda to establish the plant. Since then, two additional abatements worth $390 million have been awarded as the plant expanded under AutoAlliance.
Mazda North American President Jim O’Sullivan announced the company’s newest products Tuesday: hatchback and wagon versions of the Mazda6 sport sedan. He said the addition of two body styles should ratchet up the competition with cars such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.
AutoAlliance in Flat Rock, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda, made the 2004 Mazda 6. The plant will hire displaced N.J. Ford workers and open hiring to the public.
2005 Mustang GT