My hometown and current place of residence, Cleveland, OH, is reeling today from the news that Ford Motor Company will be idling its Cleveland Casting Plant and deferring production at its Cleveland Enging Plant #1 for approximately 12 months. The writing was on the wall for the casting plant since Ford has been interested in reducing the amount of casting it does in-house and moving that production to suppliers, which are often more efficient and able to react to the market quicker.
One could also argue that Cleveland Engine Plant #1 didn't have long before its lights were turned off since it's producing the 3.0L Duratec V6 engine, a motor quickly being replaced in many models by the new 3.5L Duratec V6, which is produced a few hours away at Ford's Lima (Ohio) Engine plant. Cleveland Engine Plant #2 will continue to produce the 3.0L Duratec V6 for use in vehicles like the Fusion, Escape, Mercury Mariner, Mazda Tribue and Mazda6. When Engine Plant #1 comes back online in about a year, however, it will be revamped to produce the larger 3.5L engine, which should provide the plant with some job security for a while.
According to Ford, its Cleveland Casting Plant employed 1,100 hourly workers and 118 salaried employees. The Cleveland Engine Plant #1, meanwhile, employed 530 hourly workers and 47 salaried employees.
You can check out Ford's press release after the jump.
FORD INTENDS TO IDLE CLEVELAND CASTING PLANT, DEFER PRODUCTION OF CLEVELAND ENGINE PLANT #1
- Ford continues to deliver on its Way Forward plan to transform its North American automotive operations into a profitable and sustainable business – including aligning manufacturing capacity with actual customer demand.
- As part of the Way Forward plan, Ford intends to idle Cleveland Casting Plant in 2009.
- Production at Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant #1 also will be deferred, beginning in two weeks, for about 12 months. Production could resume sooner based on market demand.
- Ford's Duratec 3.5-liter engine now will be produced at the Lima ( Ohio) Engine plant to better utilize capacity and improve overall productivity.
CLEVELAND, Ohio, May 7, 2007 – Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] today announced that it intends to idle the Cleveland Casting Plant in 2009, as part of the company's Way Forward plan to transform its North American automotive business. In addition, the company will defer production at Cleveland Engine #1, beginning in two weeks, for approximately 12 months.
The actions are in line with Ford's commitment to match its manufacturing capacity with actual customer demand.
"These are difficult actions, and we're approaching them with great sensitivity because they involve our people," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's vice president of North America Manufacturing. "However, operating an efficient and competitive manufacturing business is a key to our Way Forward plan to transform our business back to sustained profitability."
Cleveland Casting opened in 1952 and employs 1,100 hourly and 118 salaried workers. It produces cast-iron components for engines for Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, Ford E-Series vans and Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.
Ford's intention to idle Cleveland Casting is consistent with the company's move away from in-house casting operations. The company also has announced that it will end casting production at Ford facilities in Leamington ( United Kingdom) and Windsor, Ontario ( Canada).
Production activities at Cleveland Engine #1 are being deferred for approximately one year to capitalize on production efficiencies at Ford's Lima ( Ohio) Engine Plant, where the company now can produce all its Duratec 3.5-liter engines for the Ford Taurus passenger car and Taurus X crossover, as well as other models. Previously, Cleveland Engine #1 produced the Duratec 3.0-liter engine for prior models of the Ford Five Hundred passenger car and Freestyle crossover. If demand warrants, Ford says, production activities at Cleveland Engine #1 could resume earlier than the planned 12 months.
Opened in 1951, Cleveland Engine Plant #1 currently employs 530 hourly and 47 salaried workers. When it returns to production, the plant is slated to produce the Duratec 3.5-liter engine and a variant for the Lincoln MKZ passenger car, Lincoln MKX crossover, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus X, Ford Edge crossover and Mercury Sable passenger car. In addition, the plant will produce engines for two all-new vehicles, the Lincoln MKS passenger car and Ford Flex crossover.
Cleveland Engine Plant #2 will continue to operate as planned. Opened in 1955, it currently employs 700 hourly and 85 salaried workers. It produces two versions of 3.0-liter engines for the Ford Fusion passenger car and Ford Escape crossover, Mercury Milan passenger car and Mercury Mariner crossover, Mazda 6 passenger car and Mazda Tribute crossover, as well as for the Ford Mondeo passenger car for Europe and various Jaguar models.