Expert Says Kentucky Truck Plant Could Produce Econoline Van

By Anne Marshall

(LOUISVILLE) -- The future of Ford is being decided Wednesday and Thursday as its board of directors meet in Michigan. Ford announced in January that it would cut up to 30,000 jobs and close 14 facilities by 2012. Louisville's assembly plant and truck plant could be targets of Ford's restructuring. WAVE 3's Anne Marshall has the latest.

Ford won't be announcing details of its plans until later this week, but there are indications from industry insiders that changes could be on the way here in Louisville.

We spoke with John McElroy, who hosts a show in Detroit devoted to discussing the inner workings of the auto industry.

He says the buzz in Michigan is that production of Ford's Econoline van, currently made in Avon Lake, Ohio, could move to the Kentucky Truck Plant.

McElroy says the truck plant has the infrastructure needed to support production of the van, and that the van will supplement the F-Series production already at the plant. As for the future of the F-Series, he says "there's no way get rid of that."

McElroy says with Explorer sales plummeting over the last two  years -- 30 percent last year and 30 percent this year -- the Louisville assembly plant is at risk of closure but of course nothing is certain yet.

He also believes the predicted number of 30,000 layoffs could end up being closer to 40,000, with a number of those being white collar jobs. And he says while initially Ford Motor Company initially said the facility closures would take place over the next six or seven years, he wouldn't be surprised if they expedite the process.

Online Reporter: Anne Marshall

Online Producer: Michael Dever