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  • FORD cars ONLY!

    Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News


    DEARBORN -- Plant manager Rob Webber delivered a blunt message to workers at Ford Motor Co.'s Dearborn Truck factory this week: If you work at Ford, you better drive a Ford. Otherwise, park across the street and walk.

    The new policy at Dearborn Truck, the modern centerpiece of the famed Rouge industrial complex and the site of popular factory tours, comes as Ford officials have been exhorting workers to rally behind the automaker's massive turnaround effort.

    Losing money and sales in North America, Ford on Monday announced plans to close as many as 14 plants and cut up to 30,000 blue-collar workers.

    "It was something this plant manager took upon himself. It's not a companywide policy," said Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari, adding that Ford supported the decision, which was made in consultation with local union leaders.

    Beginning next Wednesday, only vehicles manufactured by Ford or one of its subsidiaries can be parked on the plant site. Employees in non-Ford vehicles can still park in the employee lot across Miller Road and walk to the factory, Gattari said.

    'Everybody's in this together'

    Jerry Sullivan, president of United Auto Workers Local 600, which represents some 2,600 workers at the plant, said both the union and the company wanted to get people's attention.

    "Everybody's in this together. (We need) to buy the products we make and support the company," Sullivan said. "This is a good place to start."

    The UAW has a history of banning vehicles manufactured by Asian and European automakers from union hall parking lots -- particularly during recessionary periods.

    But Harley Shaiken, a labor expert at the University of California-Berkeley, said this is the first time he has ever heard of either the union or an auto company moving to ban all competing products.

    "When imports were banned, the notion was that you were supporting other autoworkers around the country," he said. "These are very troubled times. Autoworkers in general, and at Ford in particular, want to protect their own jobs."

    Shaiken said he would not be surprised to see similar actions taken at other Big Three plants. General Motors Corp.'s Warren Technical Center has separate lots for non-GM vehicles.

    Non-Ford cars defaced

    In recent years, the UAW has put handbills on non-Ford vehicles -- and even on some vehicles made by Ford's Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar units -- that were parked at the company's world headquarters in Dearborn.

    Land Rover, Volvo and other foreign vehicles also have been vandalized while parked at the automaker's Dearborn operations.

    The new ban at Ford's Dearborn Truck plant applies to both salaried and hourly workers with permits to park on site. About 15 percent of the 2,800 employees who work at Dearborn Truck have such permits.

    The decision to bar non-Ford products from the plant site was announced during a town hall meeting at the factory convened to discuss the automaker's latest restructuring plan. "The place erupted in applause," Gattari said.

    Workers differ on ban

    But not everyone was clapping.

    "They can't tell you how to spend your money," said one veteran skilled tradesman who did not wish to be identified out of fear of retaliation. "It's still a free country."

    He drives vehicles manufactured by DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group because he can get a better deal on them. "I gotta go where I can get the most bang for my buck," the worker said.

    Now, he plans to borrow a Ford vehicle before the ban goes into effect.

    Other workers said they see the logic behind the ban.

    "You buy what you build," said Dearborn Truck worker Rufus McWilliams. "That only makes sense."

    While Dearborn Truck is the only Ford facility to impose such a ban so far, workers at some other plants said they would welcome similar rules.

    The Dearborn Truck plant opened in 2004 as Ford was celebrating its 100-year anniversary. It was build as part of a $2 billion renovation of the Rouge facility and is considered a model of manufacturing efficiency, flexibility and environmentally friendly technology.

    About 150,000 people a year visit the factory on tours operated by The Henry Ford museum.
    Casey

  • #2
    RE: FORD cars ONLY!

    I think that is a good policy. The workers should be self-motivated to do that. It is just plain common sense. If you work at Ford and don't drive a Ford product, frineds and neighbors will asume you don't think Ford make a product good enough for you.

    If I worked at a Honda plant, I would drive a Honda.

    Alexander
    1959 Hardtop
    1960 Golde Top
    Alexander
    1959 Hard Top
    1960 Golde Top
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    • #3
      RE: FORD cars ONLY!

      Being in GM Parts for 20 + yrs now, I've had many (and still have) GM cars. I've had the best of luck with all of them. Very minor Warr issues on new ones. My 72 El Camino went 243,000 miles on the orig engine. I do get some kidding when I drive a TBird into work at Carl Chevrolet. But EVERYONE thinks they're cool. I had MOPARS when I was a kid. They were beaters (typical kids cars) But they were more trouble than GM's or Ford's. But still good for a kid's Hotrod. Even though "dad's 60 TB would right with my Big Blk Charger R/T. My wife and I both have Harley's. Both Twincam Softails. Great motorcycles.

      I tend to agree with the "Drive a Ford Policy" they have in Dearborn.

      But the main key here is'

      BUY AMERICAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      • #4
        RE: FORD cars ONLY!

        THE vehicle that they drive to the Ford Assembly Plant, should be a FORD, Mercury or Lincoln. If they have another brand, that should stay at home. Sometimes a brand does not offer a style or type of car a person wants, so they have to go outside the brand to get what they seek., just leave it at home. If one day your Ford doesn't start and you have to take the other car, if anyone asks, tell 'em your car didn't start & you rented this for the day.

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        • #5
          RE: FORD cars ONLY!

          I worked at IBM for 31 years, never owned an IBM Computer, still don't.
          It's all a matter of preference I guess.


          Mike
          '59 Hardtop
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          Mike Lemmon
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