The hulking building, once so noisy, seemingly chaotic, but full of the sound of production stands silent. The last Explorer has been built at the Ford Hazelwood plant outside St. Louis, ending 58 years of production. The end came shortly after 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon. A graphite gray Explorer rolled off the assembly line, a bittersweet end for the 1,400 workers who have known for some time that the end was coming. Most will take buy-outs from Ford. Some will seek employment at other Ford facilities. All leave knowing Ford closed the plant for financial reasons, not because of the workforce. Three months ago, Ford presented its coveted President’s Award for Best in Quality to the Hazelwood plant.
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