DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. plants in Chicago and Oakville, Ontario, will get the new Lincoln sedans and minivan replacements once slated for the doomed Atlanta plant.
And the automaker says it now will give suppliers lower, more realistic volume projections for new vehicles.
Atlanta, which ends production later this year, is one of 14 plants Ford intends to close through 2012, eliminating up to 30,000 plant jobs. It's all part of the Way Forward North American restructuring plan announced Jan. 23.
In late January, Ford Motor updated suppliers on the Atlanta programs. Suppliers who attended the meeting in Dearborn, Mich., said Ford shared specific production volumes for the new vehicles that are more conservative than projections on past programs.
Ford acknowledged that planning volumes on new-vehicle programs have been too high in the past, said one supplier in attendance.
"People spend money on investment based on that," said the supplier, who requested anonymity. "You end up upside down because you've got additional capacity."
As part of Ford's pledge to work more collaboratively with its suppliers, the automaker intends to project more realistic planning volumes, Ford spokesman Paul Wood confirmed.
"It's a fair statement that suppliers tend to discount what we've told them," he said.
The meeting on the Atlanta products marks the start of Ford's initiative to be more realistic about planning volumes, Wood said.