Ford, JCI end plant talks

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.'s Automotive Components Holdings LLC and Johnson Controls Inc. have ended talks on JCI's proposed purchase of Ford's massive auto interiors plant in Saline, Mich., darkening the future for the plant and its 1,700 employees.

In a news release Friday, Ford's ACH subsidiary said it is "considering all options" for the 1.6 million-square-foot plant with both plastics processing and assembly. ACH noted that no decisions have been made about its future except that "ongoing operations will continue beyond 2008."

ACH spokeswoman Della DiPietro said that timeline gives Saline a life beyond a 2008 deadline that Ford originally had set to sell or close the 17 plants within Automotive Components Holdings. But supply chain expert Jim Gillette of CSM Worldwide said he sees a bleak future for Saline. Unless a new buyer steps in quickly, he expects Ford will close the plant soon.

— Rhoda Miel

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