The F150 plant in Dearborn, MI and the Explorer plant in Louisville, KY ceased production yesterday and it's unclear as to when the factories will resume their duties. Both models have seen a slip in sales over the course of the year (F150s are down 12.4-percent and Explorers sales have slipped by 23.5-percent compared to 2006), with analysts pointing to the slow economy and even slower house sales contributing to the downturn.
In a related article from the Detroit News, FoMoCo exec Mark Fields says that the automaker is expecting a rough 2008 as car sales in the U.S. continue to slow. Fields asked and answered his own question, saying, "Do I think it's going to be Armageddon? No." And continued by saying that Ford will take the coming year on a month-to-month basis in order to "manage the business appropriately." We'd hope that Ford is looking a little bit further down the line then "month-to-month," but in its current predicament, maybe that's all it can do.
[Sources: Detroit News, Automotive News – Sub. Req.]