The desire to make more of the Ford Mustang and Mazda6, while improving efficiency and quality, is leading Ford to cut, not add jobs at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The plant's 2,280-strong workforce is expected to decrease by 900, with Ford reducing the number of shifts from two to one and increasing the line speed by 35 percent.
Moving to just a single shift will help stabilize assembly at the plant, which produced 109,000 vehicles last year but experienced a lot of downtime when new vehicle sales cratered. In turn, the workers who remain to work the single shift should appreciate less idle time away from the job and stay sharper as a result, thereby increasing quality as well.
Those workers who have been cut will be moved to the Chicago assembly plant to help build the new Ford Explorer later this year, while others will be transferred to Michigan Assembly to build the new Ford Focus. Those not given new positions will be offered contract buyouts.
[Source: The Detroit News]