The Canadian government and Ford
have agreed on a deal to provide the Blue Oval $80 million worth of incentives over five years towards new and upgraded facilities. The deal specifically applies to Ford's Essex engine plant, which currently produces V8 engines for SUVs and trucks. Upgrades will be made to convert the plant to flexible manufacturing, which will enable Ford to keep the plant open by producing a number of different powerplants on one line. Flexible manufacturing will also help Ford shift production to meet whatever demand dictates, which is something Detroit automakers desperately want but generally don't have and can't afford to create. In return for Canada's
hard-earned Loonies, 750 CAW jobs will be saved and or created.
Ford will also build a new center to research engine efficiency and fuel technologies using the Canadian money. The facility will work on hybrids
and other alternative powertrains for Ford, which is a green feather in both Canada and Ford's cap. Outspoken CAW boss Buzz Hargrove wasn't in the mood to thank the Canadian government for its generosity, though. He feels the government should have stepped up long before thousands in the region lost their job.