Ford to shift U.S. truck plants over to producing Euro car models

In what may be the obvious move in recent memory, Ford is apparently scrambling right now to figure out how to quickly re-tool truck assembly plants churning out trucks that no one wants in order to build cars that they can't get enough of. The Mexican plant that will build the Fiesta is the first, shifting from the F-150s it currently builds to Ford's new mini. But Ford has plenty of other mostly idle plants that CEO Alan Mullaly wants to see turning out some of the company's popular European models like the Mondeo and the Focus. Plant managers and local union leaders are apparently going to be gathering in Dearborn on Friday to help work out a plan to shift the product mix to where it needs to be in a world of $4+ gasoline.

The European lineup will evidently be the key to all of this. While the Ford Fusion (and its siblings) is getting a major refresh later this year, the full redesign that will happen a couple years down the road will see it converge once again with the Mondeo. Meanwhile, the Focus that had its second best month ever in May will get replaced by the European version in 2011. Similarly, the Ohio plant that builds the big E-Series vans will also switch over to the smaller Transit van. Ford should be outlining the full plan next month.

[Source: Detroit News]

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