• Feb 19, 2010
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]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Owned the first gen. Mazda6 for 5 years. Fine product.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Neat idea.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What ford should have done is fire all the employees and replace them with robots who dont need stupid things like breaks or a good wage. In fact lets make this a model for the whole economy! Think of how cheap things would be when no human works, oh wait....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im interested in seeing how making less people work harder and faster ( and perhaps longer) is going to improve quality. I'm not claiming to be an expert on mass production, but that seems totally backwards to me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The comment I made above was supposed to be in response to this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree, but we'd have to assume the employees there did not already have a full workload and were goofing off. I thought the plant had a good rep for producing quality product. But I totally agree with what you are saying.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's the same mentality that I'd rather fly on a plane with a pilot who gets a lot of flight time. Experience counts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, I believe it's better to have busy employees. Employees who don't have enough to do goof off, let their minds wander, and distract other employees who are actually trying to work. You don't want to work people to death, but you don't want too much downtime either.

        It's the most irritating thing in the world when my technician isn't getting work done because people from other departments are bored and coming over to "shoot the ****" with my technician.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a sign that ford gets it...Yes its terrible that people will loose jobs however Ford is making themselves leaner and meaner still. They finally are starting to acknowledge that much time and money is wasted by individuals standing around.....and yes go to an automotive factory and there are a lot of individuals standing.

      Engineering is key. If the quality is address from the design stage it will show up in the assembly. Fords been doing it, now just on the much needed global stage. Its nice to see them doing well
        • 4 Years Ago
        Im sorry...you want sympathy Hackman...People working hard, its what this country SHOULD be based on and something that we have gotten away from. Unions are still present and frankly from as business stand point you have to get everything out of them that you can Every product change needs restructuring and streamlining and if the engineers can save money by making a product need only 20 workers instead of 35 its a win situation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Law of Diminishing returns, at some point having more people makes things less efficient. If you ever want to see this in action play a game of back yard volley ball and have 5 people on one side and 10 on the other.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Hackman..., been inside and visited both toyota's plants, ford's plant, GE's aircraft plant (yes not automotive) but mas production and in everyone there is places were clearly things could be more efficient especially there people
      • 4 Years Ago
      Quality is Job #1


      Ford I could use a job. Hire me to work Quality Control.
      • 4 Years Ago
      FORD IS DOING IT'S BEST TO KEEP AMERICAN AUTO WORKERS BUILDING CARS IN AMERICA. AFTER WORKING IN THE AMERICAN AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY FOR 39 YRS. (NOT FORD) I COMMEND FORD AND THE FORD FAMILY FOR "SIDE STEPPING GOVT. INVOLVEMENT". I SOLD STOCK I ACCUMULATED IN MY 401K WHILE WITH MY FORMER EMPLOYER. I THAN BOUGHT FORD STOCK. FORD IS IN A "SALES SLUMP" BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY, NOT BECAUSE OF GOVT. INTERVENTION AND ALL THE TERMOIL THAT GOES WITH IT. IT'S A LOT EASIER TO GET OUT OF A HOLE IN YOUR OWN YARD THAN IT IS TRYING TO CRAWL OUT OF A HOLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORS AND THEIR NEIGHBORS YARD.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like Ford is doing a good job trimming the fat. They are making the Flat Rock operation more efficient, sending off some of those individuals to work at other facilities, and buying out those who they cannot use. I'd say that Ford is continuing to make the right decisions... except for killing off the North American model Ranger, bad idea!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I heard about this on NPR the other day. There will actually be a net gain in total jobs at Ford. If I recall, Ford is adding about 1,200 jobs at the other plant, so there will be a net gain of about 300 jobs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, it will be a net gain of 1200 jobs. Nowhere does it say these jobs will be terminated, they will be reasigned to other facilities.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The way it was worded on NPR said that 900 jobs would be moved to the Mustang plant which is adding a total of 1200 positions. 900 jobs being moved, 300 new jobs created - that makes a net gain of 300 jobs.

        Put another way: The Mustang plant is adding 1200 jobs. 900 of those jobs will be filled by relocations from the other plant. So 1200 - 900 = 300 net gain.
      Gary Weisenthal
      • 4 Years Ago
      We've come a long ways back. What seems to be unsavory to some and unacceptable to others is the fact that cars are coming down the line and your assembly station has to add it's component and do it right. That's what you agreed to do when you were hired at a far greater rate than the $5.00 per day that inundated Highland Park(MI).

      If you find this imposes upon your free time, accept what was considered a management
      insanity(if even thought of then), and live happily ever after.

      Alan Mulally has brought you a long way from your long wait in the employment line.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is that a guy or girl?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course its a guy. I don't see anything feminine about him.
        • 4 Years Ago
        He kinda has a feminine looking face. That's not a bad thing it just means he took more of his looks from his mother. But yeah totally a dude...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Rick

        Looks like a tomboy chick to me
        • 4 Years Ago
        Small amount of hair could be cancer, hence the livestrong bracelet...
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL..if Toyota or Honda cut jobs here all the troglodytes here would be up in arms. Buch of freaking hypocrites.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What it meant to me is the way the story reads.

        "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". It means nothing more than a transfer.
        Moving to Chicago's Torrence Ave. plant is a mere 245 miles away and anyone working near Detroit would jump at this. Working at Michigan Assy just means a longer commute. I seriously doubt with the state of the economy any of the workers are just going to say screw it, lay me off.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loosing
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's how Ford wants you to read it. In essence they are giving options to people who they pretty know they won't take....which means LAY OFFS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Caddy Wins!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nozefart, read it again. No one is loosing their jobs.

        Damn these public schools!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Kballs nice catch...lol.

        Caddy-V....I don't know what the following means to you:

        "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. ""

        ...but to me it means Ford is CUTTING jobs. Now...I know you're sucking some GM tailpipe and getting high....but let me explain quickly to you....CUTTING JOBS means REMOVING JOBS from the workforce. I'll tell you why...because most people who get their jobs canned at this plant won't move half way across the country to another plant and Ford knows it.

        Got it Caddyshack?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, damn these public schools, they can't even teach someone to spell losing properly.
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