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Ford eyes U.S. for low-cost plant

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Ford eyes U.S. for low-cost plant

Automaker says cost, not geography will decide where new factory will be located

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

April 16, 2006

NEW YORK -- Now that Ford Motor Co. has announced its promised second round of plant closings, attention has turned to the company's plan to build a new, low-cost manufacturing facility somewhere in North America.

Just where the new factory will be has been the subject of much speculation since the plan was announced as part of the company's broader restructuring strategy in January. Initially, most bets were on Mexico.

Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas group, told The Detroit News that the location of the new plants will be decided by money, not politics. "The criterion is low cost," Fields said. "The criterion is not geography."

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Moreover, building a new factory allows Ford to set up a bidding war between the states. Asian manufacturers like Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai have received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives for their American plants, and Ford could expect similar incentives.

"I don't think there's any way this plant will be done outside of the UAW," Cole said, though he said the competing Canadian Auto Workers union also will make a big play for the plant. "It would be a real slap in the face to the union."

Besides, he expects the new plant will be a valuable bargaining chip for Ford when its contract with the UAW expires next year.

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meanwhile here in St. Paul, the plant will close.

hey, i guess it had to be done to get those costs in line. but they could have at least invested in redoing the ranger a few times.

Edited by regfootball

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