Two of the Big 3 plan to reduce their capacity by closing plants. Both Ford and GM have miscalculated production versus demand and now find themselves in situations where many plants are sitting idle. Ford's Wixom, MI plant where the Lincoln LS and Town Car and the Ford GT are built, as well as the St. Louis, KY plant where the Explorer is built, are both potentially under the knife. GM, meanwhile, plans to reduce capacity in North America by 10%, or 500,000 units. Low production was a major factor in GM's second-quarter loss of $1.19 billion in North America due to the fact that many union workers' wages were still being paid despite their plants being idle.
This news hits close to home for me because I grew up and currently live in Cleveland, where Ford operates a number of plants. A Lorain, OH assembly plant where the Mercury Villager and Nissan Quest were once assembled is almost certainly headed for a closing, which hurts an already damaged northeast Ohio economy. Likewise, one of my best friends works at the Wixom, MI Ford as an engineer. While the Wixom plant closing would most likely not result in him being unemployed, it would probably mean a transfer to yet another plant, which would be his third. Many people obviously live in areas that have an economy dependant on the automakers? presence in the region. Regardless of which brand you pledge allegiance to, I?m sure most of us would like to see each of the Big 3 achieving higher sales, if only for the sake of the many local economies that have their livelihoods directly linked to these auto plants.