Automakers are busy preparing a flood of fresh product for the 2000 model year. Here are some plant changeover highlights:
Ford's Louisville, Ky., plant was down from July 5 through July 26 to prepare for the new Explorer Sport Trac and Excursion sport-utilities. The Excursion began production on July 20. No start date has been announced for the Explorer Sport Trac.
Kansas City, Mo., is the site for the new unnamed compact sport wagon, which will start production sometime in the second quarter of 2000. The F-150 SuperCrew pickup starts production there early next year.
The truck side of the plant, down for six weeks, resumes production Aug. 14.
The Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique will move from Kansas City to Cuautitlan, Mexico, in the first quarter of 2000.
The Hermosillo, Mexico, plant will produce a three-door Ford Focus later this year.
The Ford Escort will move from the Wayne Assembly Plant to Hermosillo; the company has said only that the move will take place before year end.
Wixom, Mich., started production of the new Lincoln LS in January.
DaimlerChrysler's Dodge City Complex in Warren, Mich., is the site of the new four-door Dodge Dakota. The Dakota will not be launched officially until the end of October or early November.
The Toluca, Mexico, plant will no longer make the Neon coupe.
All Neons have been consolidated at the Belvidere, Ill., plant. In 2000, the new PT Cruiser will take the Neon's place in Toluca and will be made there exclusively.
GM used its corporate vacation shutdown the weeks of July 5 and July 12 for model changeover.
The Buick City plant in Flint, Mich., closed June 29. The plant had produced the Buick LaSabre and Pontiac Bonneville.
Both vehicles have moved to Orion Township, Mich., and the LaSabre also is being built in Detroit-Hamtramck.
Janesville, Wis., is set to go down in October for the redesign of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon and Suburban. When production starts again in November, the GMC Suburban will be renamed the Yukon XL.
Mitsubishi's plant in Normal, Ill., simultaneously produced the 1999 and 2000 Eclipse coupe from April 6 to May 28.
The Eclipse convertible went down on June 17 for a redesign and will not be up again until early winter.
BMW's Spartanburg, S.C., plant is the site of a new sport wagon, the X5, which will be produced in early fall.
Subaru-Isuzu in Lafayette, Ind., went down from April 23 through May 14 for the redesigned Legacy.