Employees Face Furloughs or Layoffs as Ford Idles Plants
America’s second-largest automaker has been forced to cut back on production as it faces a slowdown in sales. Ford Motor Company is temporarily idling work at five of its factories—three in the United States and two in Mexico—in order to bring production in line with demand.
The temporary shutdown will cause temporary or permanent layoffs. The production cutback will affect at least seven Ford models—most of which are passenger cars, such as sedans and compact cars.
The affected factories in the U.S. include one in Flat Rock, Michigan that assembles “Lincoln Continental” and “Ford Mustang” cars, which will be idled for two weeks; another one in Michigan that assembles “Ford Focus” cars, which will be idled for one week; and one in Kansas City, Missouri that produces “Ford Transit” vans, which will be idled for two weeks.
The Hermosillo, Mexico factory that produces”Ford Fusion” and “Lincoln MKZ” cars will be idled for two weeks, and the Cuautitlan, Mexico factory that builds the “Ford Fiesta” will be idled for three weeks.
In total, Ford employs more than 20,000 workers at the five plants. The Kansas City plant has more than 7,000 workers. The number of workers who will face layoffs during the temporary production pullback remains undisclosed.
The American auto industry has been facing a general downtrend since the beginning of this year, after sales peaked in 2016. Passenger cars, in particular, have been witnessing a dip in sales as American consumer tastes shift toward sport utility vehicles (SUVs), cross-overs, and semi-trucks.
Earlier this summer, we also saw General Motors Company idling production at a number of its factories that primarily produced passenger cars, in response to low demand.
The slowdown in the auto industry is hurting the greater American manufacturing industry. Hundreds of workers have already lost their jobs, and thousands more remain under the constant fear of possible job cuts.
“Ford to cut production at five North American vehicle plants,” Reuters, September 19, 2017.
“Ford’s Michigan Assembly, Flat Rock plants face temporary shutdowns,” Detroit Free Press, September 19, 2017.