DETROIT -- The murky future of Ford Motor Co.'s Atlanta assembly plant proves that CEO Bill Ford means it when he says everything is on the restructuring table.
For the past 18 months, Atlanta has been planning renovations to produce several key new models. Now those renovations are on hold as Ford Motor finalizes a turnaround plan for a North American business that has lost $1.4 billion so far this year.
Yet, several sources say the plant could close next year after it halts production of the lame-duck Ford Taurus. That would be a startling about-face for an assembly plant that traditionally has been one of Ford Motor's most productive.
Ford had told the UAW and suppliers that Atlanta would get a trio of new Lincolns and a new Ford in late 2007. The automaker was expected to spend $750 million to upgrade the plant.
But now Ford Motor is rethinking the project. Final commitments to Atlanta haven't come, suppliers say. Ford has stopped some work on the project until further notice, others say.