By Andrew Ganz
Friday, Jun 10th, 2011 @ 1:24 pm
 
It's the beginning of the end of an era for body-on-frame sedans in North America and it's the end of the line for 150 plant workers in New York, where Ford Motor Company has begun winding down production of components related to its Panther platform Lincoln Town Car and Ford Crown Victoria.

The Michigan automaker handed pink slips to 150 workers at its Buffalo Stamping Plant in Woodlawn, New York, about 15 minutes outside of Buffalo, today. The workers will be employed by Ford until September, when it finally ceases production of the Town Car in St. Thomas, Ontario. Ford produces Town Car and Crown Victoria body panels at the Buffalo facility. Ford will continue to use the Buffalo plant for other body panels, but it says it needs to whittle down the workforce from 650 to 500 workers.

When the Panther platform finally ceases production in September, Ford will close its Ontario plant and lay off thousands of workers.

Since the workers in New York and Ontario are represented by the UAW and CAW, they are technically placed on "indefinite layoff," but they can move closer to other union-represented facilities for work. The workers could also be recalled if Ford decided to boost work in New York, although the automaker concedes that there are no plans to do so. The Canadian plant will be idled indefinitely.