Ford to Produce Kuga at Louisville Assembly Plant in 2011
October 23, 2009
The currently Euro-only Ford Kuga will be built at the automaker's Louisville Assembly Plant and sold both in Europe and the U.S., The Detroit Free Press reports. The information leak comes just as UAW workers are preparing to vote on labor contract changes.
If indeed true, U.S. Kuga production could begin as early as 2011, analysts predict. Expect the European market Kuga name to be replaced by an Escape badge for North American buyers. The Blue Oval's spokespeople acknowledged Louisville is on track for continued retooling to produce smaller vehicles, but no confirmation of which vehicles was mentioned.
Ford's proposed labor changes could save it millions of dollars. The last time it secured labor changes earlier this year, it managed to cut $500 million from its expenses.
As expected, this latest round of contract revisions is causing quite the still with UAW members nationwide. The proposed changes include a freeze entry-level wages, the consolidation of skilled-trades classifications, and the requirement of binding arbitration for wage and benefit disagreements at the end of the present contract. In return, Ford would provide a one-time $1000 bonus to each worker, create new jobs, and plan new product production.
Source: The Detroit Free Press