GM and Ford in for more hurt

Ford has decided to shut down the plant that builds the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.  For nine weeks.  That’s some serious downtime in the automotive world.  Nine weeks that Ford won’t build two of it’s most profitable units.  No, there was no fire or safety incident at the plant.  No sir, that little thing called “$4 per gallon gas” is rearing it’s ugly head.  See, no one is buying Ford’s profit machines.  Maybe they can afford the $600-$700 per month payment.  The thing is, they can’t afford to drop $800 per month in the gas tank. 

There are even rumors of a 15% cut in the salaried workforce at Ford – not a pleasant though for Detroit workers.

The General is feeling it too

Don’ think it’s just Ford that will be feeling the pain.  GM is set to close 4 truck plants by the year 2010.  Realistically they need to move this up to “by 2008”, but that’s my opinion.   In the meantime they will be idling several plants for various periods – from 1 to 11 weeks, beginning next month. Hummer is also a big fat question mark – will a sale possible, if a buyer can be found.

New SUV’s delayed

GM even announced a delay in the redesign of it’s fullsize Tahoe, Yukon, Suburban, and full-size trucks.  For the foreseeable future, each redesign will have to simply last longer.  It doesn’t make a ton of sense to keep throwing cash at a rapidly dissolving market, after all.

When does it end?

Who says it has to?  The SUV market, specifically the full-size passenger SUV market didn’t always exist.  Who says that it has to continue to exist?  Likely we’ll see this market shrink to virtually nothing within the next few years.  The few folks that “need” the utility of such a vehicle will have to get by with a crew cab pickemup truck, or, daresay, a van.  The rest of us will do just fine with those funny, lower-to-the-ground “cars”.

Published on June 24, 2008 in Ford,GM

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