Ford to close St. Paul plant
Ford will close it's St. Paul auto plant in Sept. 2009 union officials announced Monday.
The plant was originally scheduled to close this year, but demand for the Ranger went up. The Ranger is the only vehicle made at the St. Paul plant and much of the demand for the small trucks was coming from Canada because of the decreasing value of the U.S. dollar, the Star Tribune reported Monday.
In contrast with most other automakers, Ford actually had a rise in sales in February. The Ranger was selling 27 percent more than a year ago, but Ford's overall sales slipped 6.9 percent in February. GM's light-vehicle sales dropped 12.9 percent and Chrysler was down 14 percent.
"Primarily it's driven by the weak economy,'' said Mirko Mikelic, who helps manage $22 billion at Fifth Third Asset Management in Grand Rapids, Mich. "It's been difficult for people to refinance and get credit.''