Henry Ford insisted that his facilities be located next to water (a known operating preference of his) and the St. Paul plant is no exception. It is located atop the Mississippi bluffs near a small dam. The promise of cheap hydropower was the chief reason why in 1924 Henry Ford agreed to build a plant in St. Paul. The dam was initially completed in 1917, making it one of the oldest on the river. So this plant now sits not far from some of the prime residential real estate in St. Paul, but because it is a screwdriver facility, it has been an astonishing good neighbor over the years.
Why today's Ford management is closing a plant that is trouble-free and has made them a TON of money over the years is anyone's guess. All I know is that they could not build such a plant today. Can you imagine the howls of protest if someone were to suggest putting a vehicle assemble plant in the middle of a very chic neighborhood on one of the prettiest pieces of real estate around?
Ford kills Historic Assembly Plant, Ranger RIP
By Sajeev Mehta on October 18, 2011
According to many news sources, the historic Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota is headed for a not-so-grand finale. Come December 19th, the 86-year-old facility that originally built Model Ts will be history. Ironically, Twin Cities is currently making the T’s spiritual successor: the (somewhat iconic) Ford Ranger compact truck. So shall we, the collective group of automotive journalists, lament the loss of this famous nameplate from Ford’s storied past?
Nah, I am sure there’ll be a new MyFordTouch software update or an updated Lincoln MK-something that will occupy the autoblogosphere in the coming months. It’s not like anyone loves the Ford Ranger. Or has a funny story to share about one’s time in said Ford Truck. I mean, we all hated it, right? Why else would Ford abandon the tiny truck market–a market they owned–and give us cutting edge stuff like Doug the Focus Spokes-puppet instead? more