Job Cuts at Kentucky Explorer Plant

By: Jason Moore

As what auto reports reflect, Ford Motor Co., second-largest U.S. automaker, is certainly facing a decline in SUV sales. In connection to this plight, Ford plans to slash the production of Explorer SUV at the same time cut jobs at the Kentucky plant to reduce production costs. The reductions will take place before July next year.

In an interview, Anne Marie Gattari, Ford's spokeswoman said, "It is likely we will take a capacity action." She further disclosed that a final decision had not been made and she could not specify how many jobs may be affected.

Ford's Kentucky plant employs 3,380 individuals. It is the only factory that builds the Explorer SUV. It can be recalled that last March, Ford closed the St. Louis plant that also manufactures the Explorer.

Through October this year, the sales of the midsize SUV fell by 26 percent. Ford North America has reported losses in 8 of the past 9 quarters as customers shift to more fuel-efficient rivals. Hence, Ford has finally decided a deliberate production reduction. This is also in connection with Ford's strategy of lessening dependence on pickups and SUVs for profit.

The planned decline in Explorer's production and job cuts was previously reported by Courier-Journal in Louisville. The latter's website also posted the letter, which was delivered to all employees in Kentucky plant. The affected employees will get 4 opportunities to abscond the company. Further, the letter also divulged that there is also an expected temporary shutdown of the plant on the week of January 8.

Explorer is not a bad Ford model. As a fact, it has been the best-selling mid-size SUV in the United States since its inception. include the the V8 engine as an option. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control is also made standard in the Sport Trac.

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