Ford To Close Ohio Plant

CLEVELAND - MAY 11: Employees assemble Duratec V-6 engines at Ford Motor Company's Engine Plant No. 1 May 11, 2004 in Cleveland, Ohio. Idle for nearly three years, the plant will now produce engines utilized in the all-new 2005 Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans as well as the Ford Freestlye crossover vehicle. Ford invested approximately $350 million into the Cleveland facility for the reopening. (Photo by Shaun Heasley/Getty Images)
Getty Images/Shaun Heasley
Ford Motor Co. said Monday it will close its casting plant in Brook Park, Ohio, outside of Cleveland, in 2009. The plant employs 1,218 hourly and salaried workers.

The company also will shutter Cleveland Engine Plant 1 in Brook Park for at least a year starting in two weeks. It employs 577 workers.

A second engine plant at the complex just west of Cleveland will remain open.

The moves are part of Ford's "Way Forward" restructuring plan in which the company said it would close 16 facilities by 2012. The company already has announced nine of the closures.

Ford, which lost $12.7 billion last year and $282 million in the first quarter, is in the midst of slashing thousands of jobs and rolling out new products in an effort to shrink itself to match lower demand for its products.

The casting plant, which makes crankshafts for Ford's four-cylinder engines, bearing caps, engine blocks and other items, is being shuttered because of the company's declining market share.

The engine plant makes 3.0-liter V-6 engines and was being retooled to make a larger 3.5-liter engine. But Ford said the plant was not needed at present due to market conditions and because the same engine already is made at a plant in Lima, Ohio.

"These are difficult actions, and we're approaching them with great sensitivity because they involve our people," said Ford Vice President Joe Hinrichs. "However, operating an efficient and competitive manufacturing business is a key to our Way Forward plan to transform our business back to sustained profitability."

Ford shares fell 4 cents to $8.18 in morning trading.

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