Strike at seat manufacturer stops production of Ford Expedition
Feb. 07, 1997
DETROIT (AP) _ An 11-day-old strike against an automobile seat manufacturer brought production to a halt Friday of the popular Ford Expedition sport-utility vehicle.
The No. 2 automaker has refused to say how the walkout will affect its bottom line, but at least one analyst questioned how long Ford Motor Co. could afford to suspend production of its most successful new vehicle.
``At a cost of $12 million a day, at some point in time, somebody's going to have to blink,'' said Paul Farah of Coopers & Lybrand Consulting.
Five-hundred members of the United Auto Workers went on strike over wages Jan. 28 at two Johnson Controls Inc. factories in Plymouth, Mich., and Oberlin, Ohio. The factories make seats for Expeditions and Ford Econoline vans.
Because of a shortage of seats, 6,800 Ford workers at three plants _ in Wayne, Mich.; Lorain, Ohio; and Avon Lake, Ohio _ were told not to return to work after Thursday's afternoon shifts, and all production of Expeditions as well as Econolines came to a halt.
No talks were scheduled in the dispute between the UAW and Johnson Controls.
The Expedition, introduced last fall, was named the North American truck of the year last month at the North American International Auto Show.
In January, the vehicle, with a base price of $37,000, tripled sales of the model it replaced, the Bronco, during the previous January.