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Old 12-04-2005, 07:01   #1 (permalink)
Grover C. McCoury III
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Ford May Close 5 North American Plants

DETROIT (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. workers and local officials said Friday
they'll do everything in their power to keep plants open after a report
suggested Ford is considering closing five North American plants as part of
a major restructuring.
Lawmakers and union officials said they would pile on tax breaks or change
plant work rules to encourage Ford to stay. In Minnesota, House Speaker
Steve Sviggum, the Legislature's top Republican, said he wouldn't rule out
pushing for a special session to consider incentives for keeping a plant in
St. Paul.

"We're not going to let this go without a fight," he said. "We're going to
give every incentive we can to make sure these jobs are maintained."

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the nation's second biggest
automaker is likely to close assembly plants in St. Louis, Atlanta and St.
Paul under a still-evolving restructuring plan. It cited two unidentified
people familiar with the automaker's product plans.

The newspaper said an engine-parts plant in Windsor, Ontario, and a
truck-assembly plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, also are slated for closure.

If Ford closes the plants, it would deal another blow to U.S. autoworkers,
already reeling from a plan announced last month by General Motors Corp. to
close 12 North American facilities and cut 30,000 jobs. The nation's car
manufacturers are suffering from declining sales, especially of sport
utility vehicles, even as the cost of labor and health care rises.

Ford shares rose 5 cents to close at $8.15 on the New York Stock Exchange on
Friday.

Together, the Ford plants cited in Friday's report employ around 7,000
people, according to Ford's Web site. Ford had a total of 122,877 North
American employees at the end of last year. The Dearborn, Mich.-based
automaker has around 324,000 employees worldwide.Ford has been struggling
with declining U.S. market share, high labor costs and excess plant
capacity. The company reported a $1.2 billion pretax loss in its North
American automotive operations in the third quarter.

Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford has said the company is working on a
restructuring plan and will reveal details in January. Bill Ford said in
October the plan will include "significant" job cuts and plant closures.

Ford is only using around 86 percent of its North American assembly plant
capacity, compared to 107 percent at rival Toyota Motor Corp. Ford has 23
assembly plants in North America.

"Obviously, we've indicated we will address our excess capacity," Ford
spokesman Oscar Suris told The Associated Press Friday. "We've been pretty
consistent in saying we'll share these plans in more detail in January.
Nothing is finalized."

The United Auto Workers refused to comment on the report, saying it is
speculation.

At the Ford plant in Cuautitlan, just north of Mexico City, said rumors
about downsizing have been floating around for some time, and the 750
workers there are willing to discuss labor changes to keep the plant open.

"We believe that we represent a good business opportunity for Ford," said
Juan Jose Sosa, the national representative for the Ford workers union in
Mexico. "We are open to considering reasonable alternatives ... and a better
use of labor," he said.

Danny Sparks, head of the local union at the Ford plant in Hapeville, Ga.,
near Atlanta, said the report of a possible closure came as a surprise.

"We're one of the most efficient plants Ford has. The Atlanta employees have
a long history of stepping up to the task at hand," Sparks said.

Chuck Moore, director of the Detroit-area restructuring firm Conway,
MacKenzie and Dunleavy, said the plants are the subject of speculation in
part because of the products they make.

The Atlanta plant makes the Ford Taurus sedan, which is scheduled to be
phased out next year. The St. Louis plant makes the Ford Explorer and
Mercury Mountaineer, two vehicles which have been struggling. Explorer sales
were down 30 percent in the first 11 months of this year despite an
extensive redesign, according to Autodata Corp.

The St. Paul plant makes the Ford Ranger pickup, which also saw sales fall
nearly 25 percent between January and November, and the Cuautitlan plant
makes the F-150 and Super-Duty trucks that could be consolidated elsewhere,
Moore said. Ford has four other plants that make the F-150.

GM's announcement got little reaction from Wall Street, in part because many
of the changes won't take place until after GM and the UAW negotiate a new
contract in 2007. Moore said Ford could get the same reaction unless its
restructuring plan takes effect sooner, although Ford also is locked into a
UAW contract that won't be negotiated until 2007.

Moore said Ford also has to make clear how it plans to stem its market share
losses. Ford's U.S. market share fell to 17.4 percent in the first 11 months
of the year, down from 18.4 percent the year before.

"Without stabilization of the market share, it's just going to require
additional cost cuts and additional closures," Moore said.

Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 1970 Mach 1 351C @
http://community.webshots.com/album/18644819fHAehGJAjt




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Old 12-04-2005, 10:01   #2 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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time for coherent action!

"Grover C. McCoury III" <gcmccoury@yahoo.com> wrote:

> DETROIT (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. workers and local officials said Friday
> they'll do everything in their power to keep plants open after a
> report suggested Ford is considering closing five North American
> plants as part of a major restructuring.


UAW, Ford, GM and Chrysler must sit down and find a way to stop the
bleeding.

Time for UAW to establish strict workplace standards.. spend less time
defending workers from charges of drug use / dealing, more educating how
they are all in danger.

Time to kick the MBA's out of Automotive middle management and establish
"Quality as Job1 !" ethics.
- Still signs of 'quota management' in plants, which ignore rework rate

Time to figure out a way to pay into a joint benefits fund from
cars/vehicles sold.. regardless of origin.

--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:01   #3 (permalink)
Pat
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Re: Ford May Close 5 North American Plants

I been buying Ford for 20 years. I took my Ranger in for a transmission
overhaul. $2000. 6 months later I had to have it done again. Another
$2000. I took my Aspire in for a head gasket. Cost $1500 and it still
needs a head gasket. I needed a new car. I watched the Ford ads for
months. Never able to buy one at the advertized price. So I bought a
Toyota. Maybe Ford should die.


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Old 12-04-2005, 10:01   #4 (permalink)
Mort Guffman
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Re: time for coherent action!

On Sun, 04 Dec 2005 17:21:20 GMT, Backyard Mechanic
<pettyfog@yaywho.com> wrote:

>"Grover C. McCoury III" <gcmccoury@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> DETROIT (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. workers and local officials said Friday
>> they'll do everything in their power to keep plants open after a
>> report suggested Ford is considering closing five North American
>> plants as part of a major restructuring.

>
>UAW, Ford, GM and Chrysler must sit down and find a way to stop the
>bleeding.
>
>Time for UAW to establish strict workplace standards.. spend less time
>defending workers from charges of drug use / dealing, more educating how
>they are all in danger.
>
>Time to kick the MBA's out of Automotive middle management and establish
>"Quality as Job1 !" ethics.
>- Still signs of 'quota management' in plants, which ignore rework rate
>
>Time to figure out a way to pay into a joint benefits fund from
>cars/vehicles sold.. regardless of origin.


Americans should buy American cars. It's not complicated.

Every time we have a layoff at work people are shocked. They gather up
their stuff in a box and walk out to the parking lot and drive off in
their Toyota wondering "How could this have happened to me?".

The fault isn't just with consumers either. The car companies better
get their ducks in a row and build in some quality and value. A lot of
people bought GM/Ford/Chrysler junk back in the 70's and 80's and
haven't forgotten. It's not easy to get these buyers back.
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:01   #5 (permalink)
Kruse
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Re: time for coherent action!


Mort Guffman wrote:
>
> Americans should buy American cars. It's not complicated.



Actually, it kinda is complicated. If you look at the build sheet for a
new "American" car, the engine or tranny could be built in France,
Mexico, Canada or even China. Yet the "foreign" cars have their plants
in the good 'ol USA.
A Ford hybrid is about 50% foreign parts. A Chevy Equinox has an engine
built in China. A Mazda pickup is built by Ford. Older Isuzus may have
a GM engine. A Chevy car may have had an Isuzu engine. A Chevy could
have been a joint venture between Toyota, Daewoo or who knows whatever.
Dodge has their parts from who-knows-where. Where does it stop and how
can the "American" car companies bitch about the foreign invasion when
they have jumped in bed with the foreigners?

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Old 12-04-2005, 11:01   #6 (permalink)
joe schmoe
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Re: Ford May Close 5 North American Plants

On Sun, 4 Dec 2005 09:53:39 -0800, "Pat" <dancing@onlinemac.removecom>
wrote:

>I been buying Ford for 20 years. I took my Ranger in for a transmission
>overhaul. $2000. 6 months later I had to have it done again. Another
>$2000. I took my Aspire in for a head gasket. Cost $1500 and it still
>needs a head gasket. I needed a new car. I watched the Ford ads for
>months. Never able to buy one at the advertized price. So I bought a
>Toyota. Maybe Ford should die.
>


I might ... agree with this (GM & Chryco too). It's time the
government figured out the cost/benefits of having the US design and
assemble it's own vehicles. US workers are too valuable to spend
their time screwing nuts onto studs. The US should be computerizing
the world that's where the money is at the moment.

Focus on the future, allow the past to die (or at least move to
China/Mexico). Subsidize the future, not the past.
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Old 12-04-2005, 12:01   #7 (permalink)
Brent P
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Re: Ford May Close 5 North American Plants

In article <11p6b93iiop2a03@corp.supernews.com>, Pat wrote:
> I been buying Ford for 20 years. I took my Ranger in for a transmission
> overhaul. $2000. 6 months later I had to have it done again. Another
> $2000. I took my Aspire in for a head gasket. Cost $1500 and it still
> needs a head gasket. I needed a new car. I watched the Ford ads for
> months. Never able to buy one at the advertized price. So I bought a
> Toyota. Maybe Ford should die.


Sounds more like your mechanic was ripping you off.


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Old 12-04-2005, 12:01   #8 (permalink)
WindsorFox
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Re: time for coherent action!

Backyard Mechanic wrote:

> Time to figure out a way to pay into a joint benefits fund from
> cars/vehicles sold.. regardless of origin.
>


And perhapse pay CEOs and such only $4 million a year instead of $8
million and make a "profit rainy day fund." Yeah I'm all for profit and
free trade and such and I am definately not a Socialist, but any mildly
intelligent person must agree that some CEO salaries are far beyond
outrageous.

--

"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea -- massive,
difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of
mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it."

-- Gene Spafford
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Old 12-04-2005, 12:01   #9 (permalink)
WindsorFox
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Re: time for coherent action!

Mort Guffman wrote:

>
> Americans should buy American cars. It's not complicated.
>


Don't you DARE even try to lay just one tiny bit of blame for Ford
and GM losing money on me! Chrysler is half owned by Daimler, and if the
Big 3 are such wonderful American companies Why are so many models made
in Canada and Mexico? My "Japaneese" truck is engineerd and built in
Canton Mississippi and is in my opinion superior to it's competiton. If
they worried less about profits and more about the product that causes
the profits they would make more. Lastly, Call me a Socialist if you
want, but if you owned a bakery and you were $10,000 short AND your
salary as owner CEO was $60K, would you settle for a $50K salary to save
your business? Of course. Now tell that to the people that run Ford and GM.

--

"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea -- massive,
difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of
mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it."

-- Gene Spafford
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Old 12-04-2005, 12:01   #10 (permalink)
WindsorFox
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Re: time for coherent action!

Kruse wrote:
> Mort Guffman wrote:
>
>>Americans should buy American cars. It's not complicated.

>
>
>
> Actually, it kinda is complicated. If you look at the build sheet for a
> new "American" car, the engine or tranny could be built in France,
> Mexico, Canada or even China. Yet the "foreign" cars have their plants
> in the good 'ol USA.
> A Ford hybrid is about 50% foreign parts. A Chevy Equinox has an engine
> built in China.


OMG holy crap! I didn't know that. Where did you gleen this info? I
want to know more. My opinion of China is at an all time low these days.

> A Mazda pickup is built by Ford. Older Isuzus may have
> a GM engine. A Chevy car may have had an Isuzu engine. A Chevy could
> have been a joint venture between Toyota, Daewoo or who knows whatever.
> Dodge has their parts from who-knows-where. Where does it stop and how
> can the "American" car companies bitch about the foreign invasion when
> they have jumped in bed with the foreigners?
>


Back in the good old days the Chevy Luv, Ford Courrier and Dodge
D50/Plymouth Arrow were Isuzu, Mazda and Mitsubishi. I owned a 73 Ford
Courrier in highschool and you should have seen the look on this 15
yearolds face when I read the little metal tag on the firewall that said
built in Japan by Mazda, Toyo Kogyo Corp.


--

"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea -- massive,
difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of
mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it."

-- Gene Spafford
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