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DEARBORN -- A 40-year relationship between the Ford Mustang and the Dearborn Assembly Plant is coming to an end.

Ford Motor Co. is shuttering the 86-year-old plant, its oldest, where the iconic muscle car has been made since its introduction in 1964. Ford is moving production of the next-generation Mustang to a plant in Flat Rock, southwest of Detroit.

The plant’s final car -- a Mustang, of course -- is scheduled to roll off the assembly line at about 11:45 a.m. EDT Monday.

Eventually, most of the plant’s 2,000 workers will move nearby to the new Dearborn Truck Plant, where Ford has started limited production of its best-selling F-150 pickup.

Both the old and new factories are part of Ford’s historic Rouge industrial site, which has undergone a $2 billion renovation.

Ted Dowl of Detroit, who’s worked at the Dearborn Assembly Plant since 1964 and is moving to the new truck factory, said he’s excited about the prospects of building the new F-150, which is considered critical to Ford’s ongoing turnaround bid.

“It’s a new adventure,” said Dowl, a shift manager who joined Ford in 1963. “The turnaround is important to all of us, for our job security and our retirement benefits. It’s good to be a part of that.”

When the truck plant reaches full capacity later this year, it’s expected to employ between 2,000 and 2,600 people, Ford officials said. The new factory is at the heart of a companywide effort to switch to lean and flexible manufacturing systems, which Ford says will allow it to cut costs by $1.5 billion to $2 billion over the next 10 years.

Full Story HERE
 

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Right around 11:45AM tomorrow morning, I think I'll throw a salute in the direction of Dearborn. It will mark the end for one of the longest-running car platforms since the Model T (the Fox, first seen in 78 in the Fairmont). The Mustang may not presently be an icon of reliability, but the investment in Fox certainly paid off for Ford.

Here's to another 40 years of Mustangs. :beer:
 

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Goodbye Dearborn!
 
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