May 30, 2007 — Manufacturing ceased at Ford Motor Co.'s Windsor, ON, Casting Plant on May 29, after nearly 72 years of activity producing cast-iron cylinder heads, master cylinders, cylinder blocks, and crankshafts. Ford announced the closing late last year, based on its decision to "move away from in-house casting operations" — the same reason named by the automaker for its recent decision to discontinue operations at its Cleveland (OH) Casting Plant.
The Windsor plant opened in 1935, and in recent years it has poured more than 100,000 tons/year of molten metal, producing about 500,000 engine blocks/year and 2 million crankshafts/year (in seven models, for engines ranging from in-line four-cylinders to V-8s.)
"It is a tribute to the employees at the Windsor Casting Plant that they have achieved outstanding productivity levels with consistently high quality throughout this year, right down to the last engine block produced," stated Adrian Vido, Ford Motor Co. of Canada's Windsor site manager. " The company's decision to move away from in-house casting operations is based on a thorough analysis of our business and a need to focus on our core operations. While difficult, these are the right actions for Ford's future."
Ford of Canada reports it offered financial assistance packages worth up to C$100,000 to help Windsor employees to retire or train for new careers. It also partnered with the provincial government to open an employment counseling and training center for Ford workers affected by the closing.