With all the good news involving big investments for new and retooled assembly plants making pickup trucks that came out of the most recent UAW contract negotiations, we should remember there are costs we may not like.
Two plants slated for closure relatively soon just happen to be midsize pickup truck plants. The first is in St. Paul, Minn., where Ford Rangers have been built since their introduction in the 1983 model year. The Twin Cities Assembly Plant is the oldest Ford plant in operation, and the Ford Ranger is its oldest vehicle in production, with its last significant redesign coming in 1993 (we're not counting the minor suspension and cosmetic changes in 1998 as "significant"). Ford recently announced that the last day of Ranger production to be the week before Christmas. No word yet as to who will be allowed to buy the last Ranger off the line.
Additionally, General Motors will be closing an aging midsize pickup plant of their own about eight months later on Aug. 23, 2012. The Shreveport, La., factory also has been building GM's midsize pickups and SUVs since the early 1980s. Vehicles such as the GMC Syclone, Chevy S-10, Hummer H3 and H3T are among its most famous alumni. Now, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are the only models produced there.
The Shreveport Assembly Plant is the only plant slated to be closed as part of the most recent UAW contract ratified on Oct. 10. No word yet as to who will be allowed to purchase the last vehicle off the line.
As a reminder, retooling and significant investments are being made to the Wentzville, Mo., factory, so at least one production line will be assembling the new Colorados, likely due in 2013. There are still no announcements by GMC as to production of a new GMC Canyon.