Layoffs Coming At Kentucky Auto Assembly Plant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Ford Motor Co. said Monday it will cut one of two production shifts at its Louisville Assembly Plant this summer to offset declining demand for its Explorer sport utility vehicle.
Up to 800 workers could be laid off as a result of the shift reduction, depending on how many employees accept the company's buyout offer, said Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari.
About 2,200 people currently work at the Louisville plant, which
produces the Ford Explorer, Explorer Sport Trac and Mercury Mountaineer vehicles.
"In order for us to turn our business around, we need to make some very difficult short-term decisions, and that's what we're doing right now," Gattari said in a telephone interview.
Ford's decision to cut its shifts in half at the Louisville plant is part of a larger production realignment. Ford said it also will cut shifts at factories in Chicago and Cleveland.
The shift reductions will not affect Ford's truck plant in Louisville.
Jackie Spitser, an assembly line worker at Louisville Assembly Plant, said he wasn't surprised by the cutback. He blamed high prices and a sluggish economy, rather than Ford management, for the reductions.
"The economy is so rough right now - people not spending," he said. "I don't really think it's their fault. It's the way everything is right now. It's shaky ground for everyone."
Gattari didn't say how long the shift reduction would last at Louisville.
"It depends on so many factors, one of them is of course demand for the product," she said.
She said the Louisville plant has been affected by lower demand for sport utility vehicles due to high gas prices. U.S. Explorer sales were down 23 percent in 2007 to 137,813.
Ford remains committed to making new investments in the Louisville Assembly Plant, Gattari said. The automaker pledged to put in a new body shop and a new product line at the plant as part of its collective bargaining agreement last year with the United Auto Workers.
Ford has not said what new vehicle will be produced at the Louisville plant.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by rick Location: philly on Dec 11, 2008 at 09:05 AM
    How may auto assembly jobs are there in Kentucky?
  • by renee Location: carrollton on May 8, 2008 at 03:00 PM
    Tony looks like toyota is down 23% reporting today!Be careful not 2 point fingers and laugh!Pray 4 fellow Americans. (I have nothing 2 do with a auto company! I just live in Ky. and saw Ford layoffs on tv)My friend works at Toyota and finds no joy in the Ford layoffs! She is worried for all Americans!Steve we see it takes 8 yrs to get off track!(especially when the prez owns oil)Forbes says some people are greatly profiting from gas! It is great the US wanting to help others world wide! But New Orleans isn't rebuilt yet and There's alot of Americans who really need food 2!!!!
  • by Sherry Location: Morehead on Mar 4, 2008 at 11:15 AM
    Would the reduction of workers have anything to do with the ongoing boycott of Ford by the American Family Foundation? Sounds like it to me.
  • by Toyota Tony on Mar 4, 2008 at 08:17 AM
    Looks like high dollar union scale pay worked you right out of a job
  • by David Location: Louisville on Mar 3, 2008 at 03:06 PM
    Didn't we just give FORD $200 million if they don't cut jobs?
  • by steve on Mar 3, 2008 at 03:02 PM
    Thanks liberals for not letting us pump more oil and the economy was good until the liberals took power they know how to screw things up and it takes ten years to get back on track dont blame Bush blame the moron democrats.
  • by ronnie Location: winchester on Mar 3, 2008 at 02:49 PM
    Go work for chrysler and DODGE!!!!!!!!!!!! You won't see that happening.
  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Mar 3, 2008 at 02:01 PM
    @Chuck Location: Bluegrass GO talk to business professors at colleges. We have had it so good for so long that just like any party it eventually must die down and level off so that in so many years we can do it all again. Just dont look for it to gte better in the next 20years without some dramatic change to our corporation I mean government.
  • by Chuck Location: Bluegrass on Mar 3, 2008 at 01:34 PM
    Bush says our economy is in a slowdown. It looks to me it's more a disaster. "IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!!"
  • by Ford on Mar 3, 2008 at 09:54 AM
    Where layoffs, is job #1


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