• Jul 16, 2010
Even though sales of its Mustang have been solid and even improving as of late, the powers that be have reportedly decided to eliminate the second shift at the Auto Alliance International (AAI) factory that assembles the Blue Oval's pony as well as the slow-selling Mazda6. The factory in Flat Rock, MI which is jointly owned by Ford and Mazda had originally planned to lay off 900 employees, but Ford has now opted to reassign the workers to other facilities.

According to the Detroit Free Press, excess capacity and low sales volumes were causing a lot of downtime at the plant with two shifts operating. AAI will now run a single shift with an increased line rate to meet production requirements. According to Ford, 1,766 employees remain at the plant.

[Source: Detroit Free Press | Image: Ford]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not suprised that the latest 6 is slow selling. they killed off the great 5-door and the Sportwagon and left Mazda with a fat Camry to compete with a fat Camry from Honda and the fat Camry. "Mid-Size" indeed. Mazda Europe seemed to get it right...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't think they're saying that...I too would've liked to see the new mazda6 wagon stateside.

        Sure, the sales of the hatch and wagon were small compared to the sedan, but I'm not going to buy the sedan instead (or even a CUV), I'm going with another brand altogether.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, but the Mazda6 in Europe has shorter overhangs (a fact we have to live with in the land of 5mph bumpers) and a better looking trunk lid and taillights. In person it looks much much better than the stretched out version in America with its bug-like face:

        http://smsread.com/blog//home/smsreadc/public_html/blog/wp-content/uploads/HLIC/picturrs.com/files/funzug/imgs/wildlife/alien_insects_05.jpg


        • 4 Years Ago
        +1
        not bringing the same euro/jdm model of mazda6 to US was a big mistake.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed - No wonder Buick is creating sporty cars, the rest of the market is going after the 80+ yr old market. I am 30 yrs old and the last thing I want is a boat of a car. Then the step down which is perfect sized where the Mazda6 WAS, and the interior is absolute rubbish.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I miss shifting the gears of my old 2005 Mazda6 sportwagon.

        They really made a mistake when they went with an "Americanised" version of the 6, killing the wagon, the hatch and the speed6.

        But it's life, my VW is a good replacement
        • 4 Years Ago
        I had a 2006 Mazda6, drove it for 3 years before I sold it last year. It had bad squeaks and rattles (what Mazda doesn't?), but it was fun to drive, handled awesomely, and got decent fuel economy. And it was the 5-door, which looked almost no different from a sedan but had WAY more storage space and utility.

        The North American spec 6 is a joke, and I would never buy one in its current form. It looks like a Camry, and you can tell Mazda purposely designed the car to imitate the Camry. Thing is, if people want a Camry, they're gonna buy (gasp) a Camry. Mazda took all the soul out of that car, and alienated its customer base in the hopes of stealing some of the "yuppie driving appliance" market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe they should add the second and third shift back and build the Fusion there. That would earn Ford some Kudos.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glad to hear they are being reassigned and not laid off.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Would have been nice to know what % of the reassigned employees were from which line.....Mustang or 6. Can't believe it would be from the Mustang line there are very few on dealers lots as a lot were presold I think.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This makes yesterdays announcement about the GT500s limited production make more sense.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why? I guess you could draw a forced correlation but I don't see how they relate.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is that center console coated in truck bedliner?

      I hope that's just a protective warpper or something, otherwise that's the worst interior plastic I've seen since...well, a fox-body 'stang.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Considering there are countless of photos of the Mustang interior on google and we have never seen something looking like that before, I am assuming it is some sort of cover or something unfinished.

        LOL, I noticed that as well. Kind of sticks right out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is just a protective case. Look carefully at the big handle so that when they are installing the seats they don't scratch the middle console. Once this step is completed, they grab the protective case and toss it onto the next Mustang.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The current 6 feels bloated compared to the previous one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I bet come March/April next year, there will be an article about Ford Hires 900 at Flat Rock Plant! Due to seasonal sales volume of the Mustang.
        • 4 Years Ago
        LOL
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hmmm...if they were so smart they would be selling more Mustangs instead of getting owned by the Camaro.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Andrew Do some research before you speak, kay?

        http://www.camaroblog.com/blog/1046809_june-2010-chevrolet-camaro-sales-figures-released

        Last month, the Camaro sold 7,540 units, while the Mustang sold 8,974 units.

        Factor in the fact that the Mustang is switching over to the new model year, with a SIGNIFICANT upgrade in the engine and transmission department, and you'll soon see that the Mustang is going to rape the Camaro in the coming months. Most Mustang buyers either put their orders in for the 2011 Mustang GT months ago, or are waiting until they're on the lots, which they should be soon. Those pre-orders are not factored into the monthly sales figures...I predict that the August sales figures will have Mustang at more than 20,000 units sold.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "the powers that be" - classic, literally.

      Is this a move that wouldn't have been possible pre-Recession? I'm not too knowledgeable about the biz, but it sounds like there were 900 people working part time for full time pay, just because they had an established second shift (union rules?)

      Can someone else elaborate?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford yet again showing why they are the leader. I am proud of you guys over there at Ford for continuing to make some very good decisions.
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