WINDSOR, Ontario — Ford Motor Co. is dropping one of three production shifts at its Essex engine plant in Windsor, Ontario, in October because of waning demand for 5.0-liter V-8 engines in the automaker’s F-series trucks.
The move was made “to better align with consumer demand,” a Ford Canada spokesman told Automotive News Canada in an email.
John D'Agnolo, president of Unifor Local 200, which represents workers at the plant, said elimination of the third shift is the result of Ford offering a growing number of engine sizes.
F-series truck buyers can choose among 2.7-, 3.3-, 3.5- and 5.0-liter engines — as well as a diesel variant — and many are opting for smaller engines, D’Agnolo said.
Ford Canada said “there will be no [job] cuts” as a result of the changes.
“All employees affected by the shift reduction will have the opportunity to move to Windsor Engine Plant Annex to support 7.3-litre engine production,” Ford Canada spokesman Matthew Drennan-Scace wrote in an email.
The annex building is part of the Windsor engine plant, which is a 15-minute drive from the Essex engine plant.
Two new production shifts are to begin at the annex in November, D’Agnolo said.
D’Agnolo said he wasn’t surprised by the news and workers were prepared.
“We’ve had down shifts every week since January, and we have two down weeks in the summer, and two more down weeks scheduled in September,” D’Agnolo said. “We could see that sales of the 5.0-liter were dropping.”