Ford Motor Company is planning to temporarily lay off some 2,000 hourly workers at its Michigan Assembly and Wayne Stamping plants as both facilities undergo retooling to produce the new North American Ranger mid-size pickup and Bronco SUV. The Michigan Assembly Plant currently produces the Focus compact car, but sales have slowed significantly, prompting Ford to shift the model to China, where manufacturing costs are lower.
The layoffs will be in effect from May 7th through October 22nd, Ford says. Affected hourly workers with at least one year of seniority will receive “approximately 75 percent of their take-home pay” while the layoffs are in effect, the automaker’s Manufacturing and Labor Communications Manager, Kelli Felker, said in an emailed statement. “Ford is not eliminating any jobs; this is a temporary measure as we undertake extensive retooling to transform the plant to build the Ford Ranger, followed by the Ford Bronco.
“The affected employees all will return to work — either at Michigan Assembly or at another Ford facility,” she said.
The North American Ford Ranger, unveiled at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will enter production this year, going on sale as a 2019 model. The all-new Bronco – Ford’s first since 1996 – is expected to enter production next year as a 2020-model-year vehicle.