We reported last week that the final Ford Ranger rolled off the line at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant, and now we have a few bittersweet photos of the white Sport model built around 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16. It will be delivered to Orkin Pest Control in several weeks.
The 86-year-old plant along the banks of the Mississippi River will displace about 800 workers. With mixed emotions, a crowd spontaneously gathered and followed the last Ranger down the line, finally applauding when it reached the end.
Ford plans to sell a new version of the Ranger outside the U.S., but the truck will be built in Thailand, South Africa and South America.
The company plans to begin dismantling the plant by moving out any equipment that can be used in other Ford facilities and conducting environmental testing on the 125-acre site. Demolition is expected to start in a few months and last until 2014.
Marcey Evans, a spokeswoman for Ford, said about two-thirds of the employees will have an opportunity to transfer to another Ford location, most likely assembly plants in Chicago or Louisville, Ky., which are adding thousands of jobs.