SOURCE: Autos InsiderFord Arizona test track may be sold
Potential bidder talking to automaker about one of its Arizona proving sites that employs 200.
Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co. has decided to sell or significantly downsize its Arizona Proving Ground and is currently in talks with a prospective buyer.
"Nothing is finalized," said Ford spokesman Said Deep. "We're just talking with a potential bidder."
The 3,700-acre hot-weather testing facility near Lake Havasu is one of two test tracks the automaker maintains in Arizona. The site was a U.S. Army Air Corps training base during World War II and sits 1,950 feet above sea level. It employs about 200 workers.
Deep said the decision to sell or scale back operations there is a cost-cutting move and part of Ford's broader North American restructuring effort.
Ford lost $12.7 billion last year and is struggling to reorganize itself as a smaller, leaner manufacturer. Ford's plan calls for cutting more than 40,000 jobs and idling 16 factories in North America by 2012. About 25,000 hourly workers have already left the company through voluntary buyout and early retirement programs.
Last year, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano offered a $500,000 incentive package to encourage Ford to keep open and expand the proving ground.
Deep said no final decision has been made on the future of the facility or its employees.
Ford also operates proving grounds in Dearborn and Romeo.