Ford Motor Co. may close five North American plants due to a restructuring plan that is still in the development stage. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the second biggest U.S. automaker is likely to close assembly plants in St. Louis, Atlanta and St. Paul, MN, under an evolving plan and is subject to change.
The newspaper also said an engine-parts plant in Windsor, Ontario, and a truck-assembly plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico are slated for closure. The five plants employ approximately 7,500 workers, or 6 percent of Ford’s North American workforce.
The report comes a day after the automaker said sales of its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands fell 18 percent in November, and said it would produce 2.5 percent fewer vehicles in North America in the first quarter than it did last year.
This latest restructuring plan will be the latest in a series of shake-ups and cost-cutting moves at the automaker, which reported a third-quarter loss of $284 million. The North American losses were $1.2 billion before taxes. Ford and other U.S. automakers have been hurt by competition from Asia as well as high healthcare and materials costs and excess plant capacity.