Ragged auto coattails

Minnesota State Roundup

Published January 1, 2007  | January 2007 issue

The troubles of the U.S. auto industry have long—and ragged—economic coattails outside of its Michigan headquarters. Last year, Ford Motor Co. announced that it is closing its plant in St. Paul, which builds the Ford Ranger pickup, sometime in the first half of 2008.

The auto maker offered buyouts to the 1,725 employees of the plant, and in November the company announced that roughly three-quarters accepted the buyout rather than face the risk of trying to land a job at a company plant elsewhere. The value of buyout packages ranged from $35,000 to $140,000, depending on tenure with the company.

Ronald A. Wirtz