Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ford to retool 3 truck plants for small cars starting in December

In conjunction with the announcement of an $8.7 billion loss for the second quarter, Ford confirmed what had been suspected for some time with a major shift in production capacity from trucks to cars. Starting in December of this year, three truck plants will be retooled so that they can build cars instead. In addition six new models will be coming over from the European lineup and Mercury will live on. Like other automakers Ford will be consolidating production of large trucks into fewer plants. The full-size Expedition and Navigator SUVs will shift from the Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne MI to the Louisville, Ky plant that builds the Super-Duty pickups. The Michigan plant will retool to build to build a vehicle based on the European Focus platform. As previously announced the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico will shift from building F-series pickups to the new Fiesta at the end of next year. A second plant in Louisville that currently builds Explorers will switch over to building Focus based vehicles as well.

In other product news, we already knew about the Fiesta and the Euro Focus coming in 2010 as well as the Transit Connect van in 2009. Ford has confirmed that Mercury will get a new small car in 2010. What platform this will be built on is unknown. Ford will also introduce what they are calling a "whitespace" vehicle based on the Focus architecture. This will be in a segment that Ford doesn't currently occupy, and the best bet would be the C-Max MPV. This vehicle is a small van similar to the Mazda 5. The full Ford press release is after the jump.