Ford's F-150 Missouri Plant Could Be Shut Down

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As a result of difficult negotiations between Ford and the United Auto Workers, it's possible that a strike could shut down the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo. That's where Ford produces the F-150 pickup truck and Transit full-size van.

According to Automotive News, UAW Local 249 has given Ford Motor Co. just a few days to respond to its request to settle several key issues. Union leaders say negotiators have met more than 40 times since April but have not been able to reach an agreement.

A strike could seriously disrupt the sales momentum Ford has struggled to build for the all-new aluminum-bodied F-150 since it had to get both F-150 plants (in Michigan and Missouri) up to full speed after shutting them down to refit them to build the pickup. As a result, monthly sales of Ford pickups have been flat, while the rest of the industry has experienced steadily climbing sales numbers.

Ford representatives said they are confident a fair and competitive deal will be reached before the 1 p.m. Sunday central time deadline set by UAW officials.

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams

 

Comments

They will have to start selling vehicles at a lower cost because everyone's wages are shrinking and people won't be able to pay $40,000 plus for a truck.

@Chuck, Greg - Even before rebates, F-150s and or union made pickups start well below $40,000. The bling bling and gadgetry isn't forced. Even a 4X4, crew cab and V8 starts well below $40,000 with full rebates.

But you don't get a special discount when pickups are made in Mexico. Union or slave labour, you pay the same.

@Detroit bob, you sound like hemiv8. Sound like johnny blowhard too. You just need to appreciate your family more than you do. Hope you have one.

Guys keep buying your Chinese and Mexican made crap and see how much that supports your job! You complain about union workers making so much, but I'm sure that union worker is spending his or her money in the USA. Don't care what job you have, a guy making money in the US is supporting your job more then someone from another country. Keep eating the crap that CEO's are giving you, that they aren't making money paying union workers their wage. They make millions of dollars even if they bankrupt the company, but it's the guy making $30 an hour that's the problem. If you destroy unions who's going to stop heads of companys from going back to 7 day work weeks and no vacation time?

Denver Mike,

Good point about the bottom feeders and rebates. But they start just barely below $40k MSRP.

A bottom feeder cheapskate edition F-150 with 4x4, crewcab and V8 is $39,010.00 This truck was $10k less just 10 short years ago.

Anyone want to buy a car made by a Union car company? Big ole UAW on the front grille? Didn't think so, this is why I drive a Tundra. I want a new F-150 however $hit like this will keep me far far away.

@Greg B - While the price of pickups has increased dramatically in the last 10 years, far outpacing regular cars, SUVs, etc, the rebates have increased dramatically too. So when the dust settles, yes we're still paying a fair bit more than the rate of inflation, vs. 10 years ago, but it's still worth it.

I bought a new fullsize 10 years ago, partly because it was a too good a deal to pass up. After rebates, ridiculous almost. It's still worth at least 2X what a normal car of the same vintage/condition is worth. The truck's unmatched utility is what makes it an outstanding value.

The popularity of pickups is growing for a very good reason.

Pickup truck OEMs are just capitalizing on the value/desire proposition, and cashing in accordingly. Because they can, you could say. As long as consumers are willing to pay more, why shouldn't they charge more?

But my point is, with full rebates, and not jumping on the brand new, just released, latest edition, the starting price for the ($40,000+ MSRP ) crew cab 4X4 with the V8 comes back down to earth and a great value.

If I needed one today, I wouldn't hesitate replacing my old pickup with a new one, and OK with the price increase. It's almost a shame my old truck has held up so good. That's another thing OEMs are keen too. These pickups are built for commercial use/abuse and will last indefinitely in the hands of consumers that don't beat on them daily and actually service them on time.

Strike averted. They are going to keep cranking out class leading half ton trucks!
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/ford/2015/10/03/ford-uaw-avoid-strike/73268210/

Wondering how much auto workers get paid in Mexico?

Here is another fun little Union story. A local commercial company (not large) had a fire in their building and it was totaled. The construction company they hired was not union. So the local union picketed in front of the construction site. The company hired to rebuild...............................was owned by the owners immediate family member. This was well known and publicized. Pretty sad when a union is anti supporting your own family.

Denver Mike is right. It is called inflation.

The XLT I bought 10 years ago "fully loaded" was $36,000. Adjusted for inflation that is $44,000. A comparable XLT today is a midrange XLT for $45,000.

You pay $1,000. more MSRP. But you are getting a lot more. A lot more truck than the $1,000 extra they are charging.

Because you are getting a lot more, the trucks are actually cheaper now from a certain point of view.

Wow So much ignorance. First off if the company could tell the workers to quit the union and show up to work wouldn't EVERY COMPANY do this? It's against the Law people! And if Unions are why cars are so expensive How come Foreign cars cost as much as the domestics? Quit bashing Unions. If you don't work Union you have no right to and if you do, you can always quit. theres no law that says you have to be a member. Heck some of these so called "right to work" states will let you steal services from the union.....

Unions are supported by people like Hillary Clinton. Enough said.

I really do think there is more to this story than meets the eye.

I don't like the way the UAW operates or for that matter many unions.

I do know some companies play the unions. This could be so, especially if production exceeds sales.

As for what the unions want and the pricing of pickups. If the consumer really want to have lower prices for pickups, then a more competitive market is needed.

This will force the unions to re-think how they operate and play a larger emphasis on keeping their jobs for the rank and file.

The UAW has shown throughout it's history that it doesn't make the best decisions. The managers of the unionised operations also have made poor decisions.

Maybe some imported competition will force the companies and unions to become better at how to manage workers and production which will benefit the consumer.

The guy and his supporters who made mention about prices of Mexican pickups is quite naïve. Just because a pickup is made by the UAW doesn't mean it will attract better rebates and incentives. What nonsense.

The comment using inflation as the benchmark as an indicator completely negates price rises in the industry as a whole, which is far less than the increase in pickup prices.

Will we see Ford complain the new aluminium F-150 has dropped in sales (production) because of the UAW, or will it be a chassis shortage, or something else??

Is Ford's September F Series numbers just a "manufactured" number?? If so then why? Why all of a sudden these issues that will impact the new F-150??

It's all just too convenient.

Let's not forget people the United States is a union. If you don't like the union perhaps you should move to China India or Mexico.

@BAFO - They're always "manufactured" (units) 'sales totals'. And it comes down to what dealers order. And dealer try to keep a consistent inventory, or "sale days". The OEM wants a consistent *sweet spot* dealer inventory too, for maximum sales and least OEM rebates.

Ford was never expecting to break F-150 sales records this year. Far from it. F-150 Fleet sales were suppressed by design and fleet buyers buy dozens or hundreds at a time.

Luxury high-end pickups are clearly more profitable and that's what Ford has been focusing on. Except they don't move quite as fast off the lot. It had to be this way, for lost capacity for the year.

And guess where those Fleet sales went. 2 guesses..

@George - Auto assembly plant workers in Mexico are paid the equivalent of 5 dollars an hour, regardless of how many hours a day or holidays.

I do think the unions have legitimate grievances on wages and benefits but unions are an obstacle when dealing with workers who are unproductive and lazy. It is true that a GM or Chrysler that is manufactured in Mexico or South Korea will not be priced less than an equivalent vehicle made by UAW or CAW labor in the US and Canada. Auto manufacturers and UAW/CAW need to negotiate a contract in good faith that does not destroy either party. The UAW/CAW needs to be realistic that if their demands are too great that this will give Ford, Chrysler, and GM more incentive to move more of their manufacturing to Mexico, South Korea, and eventually to China. Buick is already making plans to manufacturer some of their cars in China and Ford will be moving C-Max and Focus production to Mexico. Workers need to make a living wage with decent benefits and the auto manufacturers need to make a profit and are accountable to their stockholders. This is not a question of which side has a more legitimate argument it is more of, it is negotiating a contract that benefits both sides.

Jeff S,
The problem is the UAW are only looking at the "here and now".

Why don't they look a little further ahead and assess if their grievances can hold up.

How sustainable are their wants vs their needs.

The KC plant has just had a major refit, Ford has employed thousands of additional workers to manufacture the aluminium F-150. Ford is producing the new aluminium F-150 with more labour per vehicle. Is this good for business?

The unions should stand back and look at the problems. I do think Ford would not let a good idea on the floor slip if it meant an improvement in productivity.

I wonder how these Ford UAW guys would go working on a farm or construction site. Wind, rain and all of the other environmental factors impeding work.

As I have stated Ford now have 90 000 aluminium F-150s sitting in inventory. That is over two months supply. Ford an afford to have the KC plant stop and let the Henry Ford, Dearborn plant knock up 30 000 aluminium F-150s a month for a while.

This would leave Ford plenty of time to resolve the KC plant issues and refit/rectify, whilst meeting F-150 sales for months.

Is there more going on at the KC plant than we know?

It appears Ford has averted any strike action by the UAW in Kansas City.



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