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Scott Jagow: U.S. car makers are scrambling to adapt to the new reality of energy prices. Here’s Ford’s latest idea, according to the Wall Street Journal: switch some assembly lines from trucks and SUVs to cars. Sounds like a no, duh kind of thing, but it’s really not. Here’s Ashley Milne-Tyte.
Ashley Milne-Tyte: It won’t be easy for Ford to revamp their assembly lines.
George Magliano directs North American automotive industry research for Global Insight:
George Magliano: You don’t press a button in an auto assembly plant and all of a sudden start switching from trucks to cars.
He says not only will Ford have to develop new models to be built in the repurposed plants, there’s the physical overhaul of assembly lines, too. All which could take many months.
Magliano says the changeover will affect jobs and work rules.
Magliano: But the bottom line on this, where I would see the union going along with it: Of they can’t switch the product and they can’t sell the existing product, well these plants and jobs are gonna go away.
He says Ford is taking a dramatic step, but given the cost of oil, it’s the right one.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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