Ford (F) plans to build its new Transit Connect Wagon in Spain due to a lack of manufacturing...

Ford (F) plans to build its new Transit Connect Wagon in Spain due to a lack of manufacturing capacity in North America. The decision appears to be based on simple math. According to Ford VP Jim Tetreault, the automaker is already operating at 114% in North America.
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Comments (11)
  • Ralph K
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
    Anyone have any idea regarding costs of producing in Europe and exporting to U.S. If in line great opportunity to use under utilized Europe facilities and cut into losses .
    14 Nov 2012, 07:55 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1594) | Send Message
    Gee, build another plant then. You're building them in China.
    14 Nov 2012, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8656) | Send Message
    The compact Transit Connect vans are currently produced at the Otosan joint venture in Turkey, and they are currently imported to the US from there. Most are converted to cargo and specialty vans, used by package delivery, dog groomers, and catering outfits and such. Passenger versions of Transit Connect are also seeing use as taxis in some cities. A few were converted into Electric Vehicles, but that program was abandoned after a year or so when the company doing the conversion (electric motors, batteries, etc.) went bankrupt, and Ford was in no mood to bail them out on a relatively low volume program.


    Meanwhile Ford previously said a couple of weeks ago that the larger Transit commercial cargo vans currently built in Spain would be moved to Turkey, to make room for the midsize Mondeo, Galaxy, and S-Max products currently being built in Genk Belgium. The idea was to consolidate all Transit manufacturing to Otosan Turkey. It is interesting that this decision appears to have been reversed, or at least revised, with the Transit Connect Utility Wagon going to Spain instead of Turkey.


    It means two separate factories in Europe will be used to build essentially the same Transit Connect platform products. Unless Ford plans to move all the compact Transit Connect products to Spain, and the larger Transit commercial cargo and large shuttle van products to Turkey.


    In any case, Ford would not be importing it to the US unless it can be done profitably at reasonable market penetration.


    It is also fascinating that Ford is falling short on manufacturing capacity in the US. Plenty of plants were closed during the "Way Forward" restructuring in the US, and later during the Great Recession. What would it take to re-open one of those closed plants, using new "entry level" workers? Some candidates could include the former Taurus plant in Atlanta, the former F-Series plant in Norfolk Va., the former Explorer plant in St. Louis, the former Ranger plant in St. Paul Mn., the former Lincoln plant in Wixom Mi., and the former Crown Vic plant in St Thomas Canada.
    14 Nov 2012, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • TwistTie
    , contributor
    Comments (2429) | Send Message
    Dewy's ears perked up when I got to the part about the dog groomers, but she thought I was saying "Spaniels" when I said "Spaniards" and went back to sleep when I straightened that out.


    We both love your Ford comments.
    14 Nov 2012, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1594) | Send Message
    that was my point, to build another plant here, but as you say, there are empty plants all over the states.
    14 Nov 2012, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Engineer&Far
    , contributor
    Comments (164) | Send Message
    After watching the Chicago arm of the UAW vote against the new Ford contract, they should only consider reopening a non-Union plant. UAW's leadership still hates the companies that support them??????
    14 Nov 2012, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • moran
    , contributor
    Comments (214) | Send Message
    What about the labor costs for all the NON union workers within the assembly plant, AND engineering, design, styling, product development, purchasing, top executives etc. Maybe, just maybe everyone should consider labor costs. What do you think? By the way, I am not and have not been a union worker.
    19 Nov 2012, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • gmmpa
    , contributor
    Comments (672) | Send Message
    It's amazing that Ford can build any cars and trucks in the USA. The cost of production and labor cannot possibly be favorable in this geopolitical environment. The UAW failed to do to Ford what it did to GM. Then again the UAW has 4 more long years to try to do that again.
    Stockholders cannot make any other comment or decision without more information on the numbers behind the decision. Then again Europe is not much better. Ford would be crazy to build a plant in Turkey with the political unrest in that region.


    Still long Ford, but am watching the position closely.
    14 Nov 2012, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8656) | Send Message
    Ford already has a plant in Turkey - in a joint venture called Otosan (Otomobil Sanayi) with Koç Holding - Turkey's main industrial manufacturing conglomerate. The Otosan plant builds the compact Transit Connect and the larger Transit Tourneo van.
    14 Nov 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • sandykoz
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
    Ford just closed two plants in Europe. Labor costs! Ford is going to build vehicles in Spain and possibly Turkey. Lower Labor costs. Ford is doing a good job of transferring production to lower cost locations. When the next slow down in sales comes, guess which plants will show up on the close lists.
    15 Nov 2012, 02:44 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8656) | Send Message
    It will likely be a year or more before those plants in Belgium and the UK actually close. Ford has only begun to lay the groundwork with the governments and unions.
    15 Nov 2012, 02:57 PM Reply Like
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