US:Ford shuts down truck plants for part problem
Ford shuts down truck plants for part problem
DETROIT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. on Thursday, April 27, shut down five assembly plants and partially closed another after finding that a supplier had provided a defective transmission part, a spokeswoman said said.
The unusual step, which took effect on Thursday evening, shuts down Ford's production of its popular F-series pickups, E-series vans, Expedition SUVs and some sedans.
The shutdown represents a potentially costly setback for the No. 2 U.S. automaker is struggling to cut costs and reverse losses in its core U.S. market.
Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said the automaker discovered a defect in a clutch mechanism used in the automatic transmission of some of its vehicles. She declined to name the supplier of the part, which is designed to allow for a smooth shift from first to second gears.
"It did not meet our quality standards and our specifications," she said of the part.
It was unclear whether any Ford vehicles with the defective part had already been sold and would be subject to a potential recall, she said.
The Ford F-150 pickups have long ranked as the best-selling vehicles in the United States, and Ford executives have pledged to defend their strong position in that segment of the market as they look to reverse overall market share losses.
The plants that were completely closed because of the discovery of the defective part are Ford's Michigan Truck, Ohio Assembly, Norfolk Assembly, Wixom Assembly and Dearborn Truck plants.
The Kansas City Assembly plant will continue to build the Escape SUV, but its other operations will be shut down.
"We stopped production at these plants and are conducting vigorous testing," Gattari said.
The Ford spokeswoman said it was unclear how long production would be idled, but said she expected that the automaker would find a fix to the problem soon.
"We certainly don't expect it to be a long period of time," she said.
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.....