Ford on Tueday ended production at its 73-year-old Windsor casting plant in Ontario, Canada.

The automaker is halting in-house casting as part of its reorganisation and will soon close other foundries in Cleveland, Ohio, and Leamington Spa, England.

“The company’s decision to move away from in-house casting operations is based on a thorough analysis of our business and a need to focus on our core operations. While difficult, these are the right actions for Ford’s future,” said Ford Canada Windsor site manager AdrianVido.

The Windsor casting facility opened in 1934 and most recently employed 500 people. It produces cylinder block castings and crankshafts.

Ford of Canada has offered severance packages worth up to $CDN100,000 to help employees in Windsor retire, or change careers.

The automaker is working with the Ontario government to open an employment counseling and training centre specifically for its employees affected by the restructuring.

The closure followed a Sunday rally in Windsor, located across the Detroit River from Detroit, to protest the loss of manufacturing jobs, according to The Associated Press.

Ford continues castings cast-off