Ford plant's winding road

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2008 - 8:03 PM

 

June 2003: Ford says it will consolidate production of the Ranger pickup at its plant in St. Paul after closing a New Jersey plant.

October 2004: Minnesota gives $399,305 to Ford to increase the efficiency of the St. Paul plant, hoping to extend its life past 2007.

November 2005: Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman and St. Paul Mayor-elect Chris Coleman call company officials in Detroit, pledging their help in keeping the Ranger plant open. They discuss a plan to build vehicles that run on alternative fuels.

January 2006: Pawlenty travels to Detroit to discuss keeping the plant open. Ford grants a short reprieve for the plant as it unveils a restructuring plan that will close 14 facilities, including seven assembly plants, by 2012.

April 2006: Ford says the St. Paul plant will close in 2008.

Summer through fall 2006: Ford offers buyouts to its workers companywide; 93 percent of the employees in St. Paul opt to leave. Production is cut to one shift a day.

February 2007: Ford officials say they intend to prepare the 136-acre property for resale.

May 2007: Ford sells the hydroelectric plant that supplies power for the Ranger plant to Brookfield Power of Quebec.

October 2007: Ranger sales in Canada pick up, prompting Ford to create a second shift in St. Paul and raising hope that the plant's closing will be delayed.

March 2008: Ford postpones the plant closing until September 2009.

June 2008: News reports say Ford is studying whether to keep Ranger production going in St. Paul for as long as two more years.

Thursday: Ford announces that the plant will remain open through 2011.

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