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Ford to Close Edison Truck Plant

The Associated Press reports that Ford is closing the Edison, NJ Truck Assembly Plant in addition to five other plants in North America, throwing about 22,000 people out of work. An additional 13,000 Ford employees from outside the United States and Canada will also lose their jobs.

A similar New York Times article quotes Charles J. Brady from Credit Lyonnais Securities as saying, "They've really announced that they're going to do everything an ongoing business should do everyday: control costs, make quality products.... The inherent admission is, `we fell asleep'."

This will be a tough blow for the New Jersey economy, coming so quickly after September 11. In the Newark Star-Ledger article, Governor-elect James McGreevey said, "We've asked them to stop any permanent decision in an effort to set forth to Ford the potential array of financial incentives which could be available. The state could offer low-interest rate financing guarantees and other financial incentives to help retool the plant to build another product."

McGreevey's also said, "For 10 years, we have largely neglected manufacturing in this state," adding the pattern must be reversed. Ford sold 58,000 fewer trucks made in Edison last year than the year before, in spite of incentives like zero percent financing. What could the State of New Jersey have done to change that?

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