Ford's Truck Glutmare Continues
As this 1999 New York Times article illustrates, Ford's Wayne factory was once Ford's golden goose. The factory cranked-out about $3.7b profit per year building Expeditions and Navigators. Tempus fugit. Nine years later, Yahoo! Business reports that the golden goose will be put into a cryogenic freeze for at least nine weeks, starting June 23rd. The unusually long "temporary shut down" could well become permanent. The Michigan Truck plant builds the Expedition and Navigator. According to the Kansas City Star, "Expedition sales are down 31 percent for the first five months of the year, and Navigator sales are off 22 percent, according to Autodata Corp. Ford had a 124-day supply of Navigators and a 100-day inventory of Expeditions." It seems safe to say that production for the 2008 model year will be over by the time Michigan Truck shuts down next Monday. If future production of these barges is ever needed–a highly doubtful proposition– one of Ford's underutilized pickup truck factories could take over. As for costs savings, United Auto Workers get 95 percent of their pay while the factory is "off-line." This "right sizing" an expensive business, but Ford had to do something to shut off the production spigot.
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