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article imageFord's plan to scrap Edge SUV puts Canada facility in jeopardy

By Karen Graham     Jun 16, 2020 in Business
Oakville - An automotive consultant firm claims that Ford Motors is planning on scrapping plans to build a next-generation Ford Edge crossover. Ford builds the Edge at its Oakville, Ontario, plant, the last Ford assembly plant in Canada.
"We have confirmed the information from multiple sources within the industry," Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions based in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, told the Detroit Free Press on Monday.
The Ford Edge has been a staple in the Ford lineup of popular vehicles for 10 years, so the news comes as a surprise to many. Ford had scheduled the SUV for a full design revamp in 2023 that included a new platform with production to continue at the Oakville plant.
Fiorani claims the problem essentially lies in redundancy. With other SUVs like the Bronco Sport, Bronco, and the new Escape, mixed with flat retail sales, Ford made the call.
Citing a number of "new SUVs the carmaker has slated to come out in a few years, Fiorani said Ford would essentially "break new ground" with one of the new models. The current Edge SUV has largely turned into a fleet vehicle for Ford, according to CNet.
The current Edge model and the Lincoln Nautilus are scheduled to be built at the Oakville, Ontario plant into 2023. Fiorani says no vehicle is scheduled to be built there after 2023.
2020 Ford Edge
2020 Ford Edge
Ford Motors
A Ford spokesperson has neither confirmed or denied this latest piece of news, although Ford Motor Company issued a statement, per the Detroit Free Press: "Edge and the five-passenger midsize SUV segment remain a critical part of Ford’s winning portfolio. We have no plans to exit the segment, particularly as Edge sales were up 3% to nearly 140,000 Edges in the U.S. last year.
Since its launch in 2006, we have sold more than 1.6 million Edges in America. Customers are loving the all-new Edge ST, with retail sales up 41% in 2019. "
Union negotiations as contract set to expire
Negotiations for a new four-year contract between Ford and Unifor, its largest Canadian union, are set for September. "This is the time when Ford would tell the union that it plans to close within the next contract four-year period," Fiorani said, according to CBC Canada.
In an interview with CBC News, Unifor leader Jerry Dias said that he was "concerned" with the report, but he described it as "premature."
Union contracts with the big three automakers are set to expire this year. Unifor generally makes a deal with one automaker and then takes the deal to the other two for use as a framework.
"The Ford Oakville plant was already going to be the focus of our contract negotiations this fall with Ford so what this did was certainly put a spotlight on it for good reason," Dias said. "We're going to find a solution."
More about Ford Motors, Edge SUV, Oakville Ontario, redundant, unifor
 
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