The Ford Motor Company of Canada says it will lay off close to 200 workers at its Oakville, Ontario plant in September.
According to the Reuters new service, the cuts come as demand is falling for the factory's three products: the Ford Flex, Lincoln MKT, and Ford Edge SUVs. While the Edge remains a strong seller in North America, Ford is no longer offering the Oakville-built crossover in some overseas markets. Meanwhile, the seven-seater Flex and its Lincoln MKT sibling have been around since 2009 and 2010 respectively without major revisions.
Lincoln is about to replace the MKT with a new model called the Aviator. Meanwhile, Ford has not announced a second-generation Flex, which we suspect will be displaced by the 2020 Explorer, set to reach showrooms in September. Ford is building the new Explorer and the Aviator at its Chicago, Illinois factory.
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According to Unifor Local 707, the union that represents the plant's workers, production will begin to slow on August 1. About 185 workers will be laid off in September, and more could lose their jobs in January 2020.
"We have been arguing for the past several weeks, trying to ... (avoid) this scenario but to no avail," Unifor Local 707 President Dave Thomas said in a statement on the union's web site. "As always, it’s based on a business decision and it all comes down to dollars and cents."
Ford had previously revealed a plan to cut 7,000 white-collar jobs worldwide and 12,000 positions in its European operation by 2020.