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Ford Intends To Idle Cleveland Casting Plant, Defer Production Of Cleveland Engine Plant #1


Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] today announced that it intends to idle the Cleveland Casting Plant in 2009, as part of the company’s Way Forward plan to transform its North American automotive business. In addition, the company will defer production at Cleveland Engine #1, beginning in two weeks, for approximately 12 months.

The actions are in line with Ford’s commitment to match its manufacturing capacity with actual customer demand.

“These are difficult actions, and we’re approaching them with great sensitivity because they involve our people,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s vice president of North America Manufacturing. “However, operating an efficient and competitive manufacturing business is a key to our Way Forward plan to transform our business back to sustained profitability.”

Cleveland Casting opened in 1952 and employs 1,100 hourly and 118 salaried workers. It produces cast-iron components for engines for Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, Ford E-Series vans and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

Ford’s intention to idle Cleveland Casting is consistent with the company’s move away from in-house casting operations. The company also has announced that it will end casting production at Ford facilities in Leamington ( United Kingdom) and Windsor, Ontario ( Canada).

Production activities at Cleveland Engine #1 are being deferred for approximately one year to capitalize on production efficiencies at Ford’s Lima ( Ohio) Engine Plant, where the company now can produce all its Duratec 3.5-liter engines for the Ford Taurus passenger car and Taurus X crossover, as well as other models. Previously, Cleveland Engine #1 produced the Duratec 3.0-liter engine for prior models of the Ford Five Hundred passenger car and Freestyle crossover. If demand warrants, Ford says, production activities at Cleveland Engine #1 could resume earlier than the planned 12 months.

Opened in 1951, Cleveland Engine Plant #1 currently employs 530 hourly and 47 salaried workers. When it returns to production, the plant is slated to produce the Duratec 3.5-liter engine and a variant for the Lincoln MKZ passenger car, Lincoln MKX crossover, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus X, Ford Edge crossover and Mercury Sable passenger car. In addition, the plant will produce engines for two all-new vehicles, the Lincoln MKS passenger car and Ford Flex crossover.

Cleveland Engine Plant #2 will continue to operate as planned. Opened in 1955, it currently employs 700 hourly and 85 salaried workers. It produces two versions of 3.0-liter engines for the Ford Fusion passenger car and Ford Escape crossover, Mercury Milan passenger car and Mercury Mariner crossover, Mazda 6 passenger car and Mazda Tribute crossover, as well as for the Ford Mondeo passenger car for Europe and various Jaguar models.


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