Ford may feel political pressure to add a new product to its sprawling St. Thomas assembly plant to help keep the factory alive.
Canadian Auto Workers union officials met with area politicians about the future of the 40-year-old plant this week.
Ford has said there's no product for the 40-year-old plant -- which builds large sedans -- beyond 2011.
"I've certainly not given up any hope until they put the padlock on the door," said Scott Smith, chairperson of CAW Local 1520 at the plant.
The union wants Ford to build another product at the plant or extend the production of cars it builds there until the market turns around.
Smith said there are plans to meet with the company, but the union first wants to first make sure all levels of government are on side.
"The government is willing to be part of the solution. Coming out of a meeting like that, you feel very positive when you have the government on side and the union is willing to do what it needs to do," he said.
Ford is the last piece to put in place, he added.
"If they close our plant, their footprint in Canada is going to be very small compared to the other two (GM and Chrysler)."
The union says while GM and Chrysler have about 20% of their workforce in Canada, Ford has only 8% of its workforce here.
There are about 1,500 workers at the Ford plant, which assembles the Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis. The plant assembled about 115,000 vehicles last year.
"We've got a membership out there that has, for forty years, built quality vehicles," said Smith.
MP Joe Preston (PC Elgin-Middlesex-London) said Ford would be "crazy" to let that type of workforce get away.
Preston said the job of area politicians will be to bring people together.
"We have to all be rowing the boat in the same direction," he said, adding the job now is to find out from Ford what they need from the government to be able to keep the plant alive.
The plan is to ask police forces, taxi fleet operators and limousine operators whether they're still interested in using the Crown Victoria.
If they say yes, Preston said he'll bring that message to Ford.
Ford also has been seeking concessions from the union during labour talks. However, Smith said the union isn't willing to make concessions if the company plans to close the plant.
"We're not going to hand everything back to be out of a job in a couple of years. That's just not going to happen," he said.
If Ford keeps the plant open beyond 2011, it'll take a massive investment of about $1 billion to retool for new vehicles. Government has given about 20% of that total as an incentive for other plants.
No plant closing has been announced.