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Union: Ford to stop making Escape in Missouri next year

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Union: Ford to stop making Escape in Missouri next year

David A. Lieb / Associated Press

Jefferson City, Mo. -- Ford Motor Co. plans to stop making the Escape in Missouri by the end of next year and shift production of its next-generation sport utility vehicle to Kentucky, a union president said Tuesday.

Ford has indicated its suburban Kansas City plant could receive a new product, if Missouri were to enact new tax incentives for the company, said Jeff Wright, president of the United Auto Workers Local 249.

A special legislative session is to begin Thursday to consider a bill offering up to $15 million annually for manufacturers who retain jobs by making factory improvements for new products. To offset the cost of the incentives, lawmakers also are to consider a measure requiring new state employees to contribute toward their pension funds.

Ford spokesman John Stoll said Tuesday that the company supports Missouri's proposed incentives. But he declined to comment about Ford's plans for the Escape or its Claycomo assembly plant near Kansas City.

Ford has said it will begin building a vehicle at the Louisville plant based on its compact-car underpinnings, which could support small SUVs.

The Claycomo plant, which employs about 3,700 people, currently makes the Escape, its twin Mercury Mariner and the F-150 pickup truck. Ford is phasing out the Mercury brand, including the Mariner, by the end of this year.

Wright said the last Ford Escape will roll off the Claycomo assemble plant around November or December 2011 and that production of a new version of the sport utility vehicle then would shift to Louisville.

"The Escape's already gone, they've already announced that, and I think if they haven't already started to retool Louisville, Ky., it's close," Wright said. "What we're looking for is a new product."

Wright made his comments during a conference call Tuesday announcing that dozens of businesses, economic development groups and union workers had formed a coalition supporting the Missouri incentive legislation. Participants in the Missouri Manufacturing Works coalition said losing jobs at the Claycomo factory would send negative ripples through the local and state economies.

"If we don't pass this, we're not competing at all," said Ray McCarty, president of the Associated Industries of Missouri. "We don't have anything in our tool box right now to help attract those new product lines."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100623/AUTO01/6230382/1148/Union--Ford-to-stop-making-Escape-in-Missouri-next-year#ixzz0rgDv8aZk

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Union: Ford to stop making Escape in Missouri

BY DAVID A. LIEB

ASSOCIATED PRESS

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Ford Motor Co. plans to stop making the Escape in Missouri by the end of next year and shift production of its next-generation sport utility vehicle to Kentucky, a union president said Tuesday.

Ford has indicated its suburban Kansas City plant could receive a new product, if Missouri were to enact new tax incentives for the company, said Jeff Wright, president of the United Auto Workers Local 249.

A special legislative session is to begin Thursday to consider a bill offering up to $15 million annually for manufacturers who retain jobs by making factory improvements for new products. To offset the cost of the incentives, lawmakers also are to consider a measure requiring new state employees to contribute toward their pension funds.

Ford spokesman John Stoll said Tuesday that the company supports Missouri’s proposed incentives. But he declined to comment about Ford’s plans for the Escape or its Claycomo assembly plant near Kansas City.

Ford has said it will begin building a vehicle at the Louisville plant based on its compact-car underpinnings, which could support small SUVs.

The Claycomo plant, which employs about 3,700 people, currently makes the Escape, its twin Mercury Mariner and the F-150 pickup truck. Ford is phasing out the Mercury brand, including the Mariner, by the end of this year.

Wright said the last Ford Escape will roll off the Claycomo assemble plant around November or December 2011 and that production of a new version of the sport utility vehicle then would shift to Louisville.

“The Escape’s already gone, they’ve already announced that, and I think if they haven’t already started to retool Louisville, Ky., it’s close,” Wright said. “What we’re looking for is a new product.”

Wright made his comments during a conference call Tuesday announcing that dozens of businesses, economic development groups and union workers had formed a coalition supporting the Missouri incentive legislation. Participants in the Missouri Manufacturing Works coalition said losing jobs at the Claycomo factory would send negative ripples through the local and state economies.

“If we don’t pass this, we’re not competing at all,” said Ray McCarty, president of the Associated Industries of Missouri. “We don’t have anything in our tool box right now to help attract those new product lines.”

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100623/BUSINESS0102/100623008/1210/BUSINESS01/Union-Ford-to-stop-making-Escape-in-Missouri

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FORD TO SHIFT ESCAPE PRODUCTION NEXT YEAR

By Drew Johnson

According to a union official, Ford will stop production of its Escape crossover at the company’s Missouri plant late next year. Production of the next-generation CUV will move to Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky plant.

Jeff Wright, president of the United Auto Workers Local 249, revealed on Wednesday that Ford will halt production of the Escape at its suburban Kansas City plant by November or December of 2011. Production of the next-generation Escape – which will likely be based on the Euro market Kuga – will shift to Ford’s Kentucky plant.

“The Escape’s already gone, they’ve already announced that, and I think if they haven’t already started to retool Louisville, Kentucky, it’s close,” Wright said. “What we’re looking for is a new product.”

However, Ford has yet to guarantee the Missouri plant a new product. The factory currently produces the Escape and Mercury Mariner, but the Mariner will end production well before the Escape, likely sometime during the fourth quarter of 2010. The plant also makes the Ford F-150.

Missouri is doing its part to keep production in the state and is currently working on legislation that would offer up to $15 million annually for companies to retain jobs.

LINK:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-to-shift-escape-production-next-year.html

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