It was announced today that Ford has placed a freeze on 350 production jobs at its manufacturing plant in Oakville, Ontario. The Oakville plant, like so many of Ford’s North American production facilites, is responsible for the production of cast-iron components used in the Ford F-Series pick-up trucks, E-Series cargo vans, Expedition, and the Lincoln Navigator. As of today, the hold on Oakville is scheduled to last an indefinite length of time while Ford scrambles to save it’s rapidly sinking ship.
With Ford aggressively shifting focus to small-car production, and currently eyeball-deep in their “Way Forward” plan, someone had to see this coming down the pike. The plan, which was initially introduced in 2007 along with a posted $2.7 billion loss, was Ford’s preemptive maneuver to avoid further catastrophic loss. Calling for a $5 billion budget cut, the plan spelled out the closing of at least one major production facility and included layoffs tallying close to 20,000 (a large percentage of which were actually white-collar jobs).
Although operation is currently suspended, the Oakville plant is not scheduled for permanent closure. According to a spokeswoman for Ford Canada, the hold will only be in effect until Ford can “better align production [with] some of these unprecedented shifts we’ve seen in the market.”
[Source: Autmotive News]