regfootball

Ford may review Ranger truck plant closure plans, Coleman says

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find this at

www.startribune.com

note: your Republican Senator and Governor doing this. Not ex-comedian senator wanna bes (Al Franken)

Ford may review truck plant closure plans, Coleman says

By KEVIN DIAZ, Star Tribune

June 6, 2008

WASHINGTON - Sen. Norm Coleman left a meeting with Ford Motor Co. officials Friday expressing optimism that the automaker will review its decision to close the plant in St. Paul that makes the Ranger pickup.

"I'm not raising any false expectations; all I've done is raise the curtain," Coleman told reporters during a conference call from Detroit.

"We'll see if it's fruitful or not."

The Minnesota Republican said he was given no time frame for the review. Ford plans to shutter the plant in September 2009, and Coleman acknowledged that "nothing's been changed, as of right now."

But he said that Ford officials told him that the changing vehicle market responding to $4-a-gallon gasoline is prompting sweeping reviews of operations, including the future of the Ranger, a medium-size pickup that is made exclusively at the plant in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood.

"It was clearly expressed to me that Ford is looking at all aspects of their operations," including the company's plans to close the plant, Coleman said. "That decision is being looked at. It is being reviewed."

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said Friday that the plan to close the plant has not changed, but that all operations are under review. "We are aggressive in lining up our capacity with demand, and are examining all areas of our business," she said.

Coleman flew to Detroit on Thursday, a day after he wrote Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally, asking that the company review its decision about the truck plant. Coleman noted that Ranger sales have increased this year, as car buyers move away from bigger and heavier sport-utility vehicles and pickups.

Coleman met Friday with Joseph Hinrichs, Ford's vice president for global manufacturing, and Curt Magleby, the company's director of government relations. He said the meeting came at "an opportune time," in light of two recent industry reports praising the Ranger and the plant where it is built.

On Wednesday, a J.D. Power survey ranked the Ranger second in its market segment for quality. On Thursday, a Harbour report ranked the St. Paul plant first in productivity.

"The [1,000]workers of the Ford plant should feel very proud of what they're doing," Coleman said.

Coleman, who has been criticized for not including other Minnesota politicians in his overtures to Ford, said he would talk Friday with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a fellow Republican. He also said that he plans to talk with some Democrats.

"There are internal things that Ford has to do," Coleman said. "The good news is that all options are on the table."

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It's compact not midsize :rolleyes:

Anyway it's good that the truck is under review, as I'm sure people will look for smaller alternatives to the big trucks as gas prices continue to clime. Hopefully the Sport Trac sales increase. The problem is that the Ranger is still way outdated. It needs a redesign, but to stay at that size.

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Ford Ranger second in its segment for quality? Uh, ok J.D. Power ... :blink:

What keeps this twenty year old truck from dying?

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if they don't close it, what will they do to keep it fresh? eco-boost?

they prolly have no plans to update it on the board and will take at least 1 year to get something thorough done to it.

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Ford's future line-up has plenty of bright spots, but I can assure you, if Ford does not design a new compact truck, there will be an ugly smear in that said line-up.

Last I have heard, though, Ford is looking into something to replace the Ranger, so let's hope.

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What does it cost Ford to build a Ranger these days? Like, $5?

Twenty years is being too kind to the platform, it's more like 25 years old.

Still, Ford would be nuts to walk away from this market when gas hits $5 a gallon.

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The Ranger as we see it now will be dead soon, but it will come back on a global platform by 2011 or so. Also, Ford will be bringing out the mid-size F-100 in 2010.

Compact trucks are by no means dead at Ford...they're just in limbo right now.

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The Ranger as we see it now will be dead soon, but it will come back on a global platform by 2011 or so. Also, Ford will be bringing out the mid-size F-100 in 2010.

Compact trucks are by no means dead at Ford...they're just in limbo right now.

That would be interesting...

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There are alot of fleet buyers, and no not rentals. Real work trucks that are kept til they die, and not dumped to deflate resale.

I predict Ford will extend Ranger to maybe 2011? But probably will still close MN plant and consolidate any new compact truck into a flex production facility.

Edited by Chicagoland
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I kind of like my Ford Ranger, it does what I need it to do.

According to Reg, you can thank Senator Coleman for that. :duh:

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According to Reg, you can thank Senator Coleman for that. :duh:

So that's the only thing, right? 'Cuz I don't see much else.

Funny how Normie only cares about auto assembly plants during a tough election year...

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Ford to meet with truck plant leaders

By DEE DePASS, Star Tribune

June 12, 2008

United Auto Workers officials from Ford truck plants nationwide are being called to Michigan for a meeting Friday that could determine the fate of their plants as fuel prices soar and truck sales plummet.

Roger Terveen, president of UAW Local 879 in St. Paul, said that he and union Chairman Jim Eagle leave today for the meeting and expect to return late Friday. UAW local Chairman Bob Morris from Menomonie, Wis., will also attend the meeting.

Industry observers speculate that Ford may decide to convert some truck plants into car plants because truck sales are down considerably as gas prices move closer to $4.20 a gallon nationwide. Ford's car and truck sales fell 16 percent in May and are down 11 percent so far this year.

Terveen said the union doesn't know what will come of Friday's meeting. "We have no idea right now if it has something to do with the plant. It's a general meeting between the UAW and Ford Motor Company. The basis of the meeting is about the sales drop because of the gas prices, and about certain plants closing up as previously announced," he said.

"If there are any big announcements, we will call and let the leaders here know and get [word] out to the membership right away," Terveen said. "We'll have fliers typed up and handed to the members as fast as possible."

The St. Paul plant, which makes the Ranger pickup and has about 980 union workers, has been expected to close in September 2009 after several years of steep sales declines. Union members are pushing for more time, Terveen said, noting that headquarters has yet to respond.

The Ranger plant is one of 16 factories Ford planned to close in an attempt to hold off financial hemorrhaging. Ford lost $12.7 billion in 2006 and $2.7 billion in 2007.

The Ranger plant was scheduled to close this year but got a one-year extension in November after Ranger sales from Canada jumped because the falling U.S. dollar and rising gas prices made the small truck more attractive than larger models.

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., visited Ford officials in Michigan last week, requesting that they keep the plant open. Ranger sales fell 24.7 percent in May compared with a year ago, to 7,239 trucks. However, year-to-date sales are up 2 percent, to 36,421 units.

"After meeting with Ford officials, I was assured that they would take another look at the viability of the St. Paul plant. I am hopeful," Coleman said Friday. "Sales of the Ford Ranger are proving that folks want fuel-efficient vehicles."

Coleman's request, one of many efforts by state and city officials, comes as gas prices surged to $4.09 a gallon in the Twin Cities, goosing sales of subcompact cars and scooters.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

© 2008 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

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because amy klobuchar tried to do the same thing?

Political affiliation makes no difference. It's disingenuous either way - you either care or you don't.

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