'A new reality' for the automotive industry

Ford is cutting back its production at the Essex Engine plant in Windsor. That's where they build 5-litre engines for the F-150.

Jason Stein says the industry is less interested in the 5-litre trucks

Ford announced Thursday the cancellation of their third shift at the Essex Engine Plant in Windsor.  ((Craig Glover/Canadian Press))

On the heels of the third shift being cancelled at Windsor's Fiat-Chrysler minivan plant, Ford announced Thursday the cancellation of its third shift at the Essex Engine Plant in Windsor. 

No layoffs are expected — employees will be moved to the Annex plant in Ford City — but Automotive News publisher Jason Stein said this kind of thing is just where the market is at right now. 

"The market is less interested in five-litre trucks," said Stein. "Fuel efficiency is rising to the forefront, and that means the five-litre is no longer."

According to Stein, the Essex plant has been running on less capacity every week since the start of 2019

"It's the realization of what we've been seeing for some time now," said Stein. "This is kind of the new reality of manufacturing in Ontario."

Stein said most auto brands have switched from the traditional 6-cylinder to a 4-cylinder engine across their lineups — but he doesn't think Ford's presence in Windsor is in jeopardy.

"We just have to get a little more creative on how jobs are perceived," said Stein. "The expertise is here, the skill is here. The future is not as bleak as some may say."


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