Tower Drops Ford Explorer Frame

December 20, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Tower Automotive announced last week that it will not supply the frame for the next generation of Ford Explorer.

The company produces the frame for the current Ford Explorer platform in its Corydon, Ind., plant, which employs about 800 people.

Company officials said the future status of that plant has not been determined.

“We have been active in the early design and bid process for the next Explorer,” said Dug Campbell, Tower president and CEO.

“However, our decision not to support this particular product renewal is based strictly on the fact that the expected returns at targeted pricing levels did not meet our requirements.

“This decision, though a difficult one in light of our strong Ford relationship and the long supply history of this product, is consistent with our commitment to increase shareholder value by investing our capital resources more selectively and by deploying the increased free cash flow to strengthen our balance sheet.”

Campbell said Tower still has a backlog of $1.4 billion in new business, two-thirds of which will be launched by the middle of 2004.  

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