Automakers Work Against Collapse

Wednesday, December 17th 2008, 10:12 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

UNDATED -- American automakers try to stave off collapse.

"I think if that happens in an uncontrolled fashion that would be very bad for the economy and very bad for the industry," said Ford President Mark Fields.

Ford and Chrysler say they're forced to take drastic measures to stay open.  Chrysler is closing all 30 of its U.S. manufacturing plants on Friday.  Ford is making cuts, too.  Those include the closure of a Tulsa dealership.

Chrysler is the maker of Mercedes, Jeep and Dodge vehicles, but beginning Friday they won't be making any vehicles for a month and possibly longer.  A spokesperson for the company says demand has stalled so much they need to slow production and conserve cash.     

The credit crunch is keeping would-be buyers away from showrooms.  When they do have customers, dealers say they can't close their sales, estimating that 20 to 25% of their volume has been lost.  

Meanwhile, Ford says it will shut down 10 of its North American assembly plants, but theirs will only close for an extra holiday week in January.  They also blame the slumping American auto market.

Two Ford plants will remain open both of those plants make the new F-150 pickup truck. 

Ford Motor Company is responsible for layoffs in Tulsa.  Close to 40% of the employees at United Ford will be looking for new jobs.

The company started their efforts to consolidate in January of 2007 when they closed Sand Springs Ford.

"Right now I think that you've got too many dealers in certain marketplaces for the market to stay strong you need to have the appropriate amount of dealers in each market by franchise," said Ford dealer Bob Hurley.

No other Green Country Ford dealerships have been affected by Ford Motor Company's decisions.  They are still open for business.