Local Auto Plants Looking At Bumpy Road Ahead

BROOK PARK, Ohio - With a record sales year in the rear-view window, the nation's automakers are looking at a bumpy road ahead, 19/43 News' Harry Boomer reported.

That in turn could mean some tough times for local autoworkers, including those at the Ford plant in Brook Park.

"The economy is going down, people are getting laid off and there is some uncertainty out there as to what is going to happen," auto analyst John McElroy said.

Ford -- America's second-largest automaker -- is in the process of laying-off thousands of workers, and there could be more.

The downsizing comes off the second-best year for auto sales in automotive history. Ford's U.S. sales, however, dropped 5.5 percent.

Early this year, the company announced that it would be laying-off more than 4,000 white-collar jobs, mostly through early retirement. Friday, workers at Ford plants across the region and the country might find out if they'll be included in the cuts.

"It's brutal what's happening," auto analyst David Cole said. "This is just one of the most visible restructuring processes that all of us will have experienced in the last 10-15 years."