Region 8 Reacts to Ford Motor Company Announcement

January 23, 2006 - 6:08 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-Another American vehicle manufacturer announces major job cuts and plant closings.

Ford announced today that it will cut between 25,000 and 35,000 jobs and will close 14 of its North American plants. The cuts will take effect by 2012.

This announcement comes just two months after General Motors announced major cuts of its own.

Local Ford dealer Jeff Baldwin says this is not unexpected. "GM and Ford over the last two, three years have lost market share. Their cars and trucks are not as stylish as some of the European cars, and so they're trying to restructure." And a part of that "restructuring" does involve the loss of jobs.

GM announced similar cuts in November of 2005; not a good sign for American-made automobiles. "Both of them are in kind of bad financial shape from past and previous people who ran the companies," said Baldwin . Ford Motor Company says that although jobs will be lost, this move will provide the means necessary to rebuild the automaker.

"To get a more stable working environment for the whole company, they've got to make these cuts," said Blake Cavenaugh, Vice President of the Cavenaugh Auto Group.

But what impact, if any, will these cuts have on people in Region 8? "It could actually have a positive impact in a perverse sort of way because we're always looking to acquire an automobile plant and its never Ford or GM. It's always a Korean or Japanese plant," said Arkansas State University Economist Randy Kesselring.

For local Ford dealerships this is something that will have some impact, if only a small one. "For the car dealers themselves it may mean that they get fewer vehicles," said Baldwin . The changes should be completed by the year 2012.