Ford deal to rescue plants not likely to help suppliers

Nov 16, 2007 | 03:36 PM | Michael Cowden

Ford Motor Co. will spare several plants from closure as part of its new contract with the United Auto Workers union, but that doesn't mean North American suppliers to the company are in the clear.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker and its steel industry suppliers should remain concerned about what some predict could be one of the worst automotive markets in recent memory, analysts said.

The deal between Ford and the UAW will effectively save four plants that had been slated for closure, although the automaker also said it no longer plans to build a previously announced low-cost plant in North America. The plans were disclosed Thursday, when the company unveiled details of the new labor deal.

The Louisville Assembly Plant, Louisville, Ky.; Wayne Stamping and Assembly Plant, Wayne, Mich.; Rawsonville Plant, Ypsilanti, Mich.; and Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant, Dearborn, Mich., will remain open, Ford said. The company had planned to idle the plants as part of its restructuring plans but had never before named them publicly, a company spokeswoman said. Ten other plants are still being closed or are slated for closure.....

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