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Ford is temporarily idling four North American plants in response to slowing demand for new vehicles.

The company has scheduled one-week closures this month for its plants in Kansas City, Missouri, and Hermosillo and Cuatitlan, Mexico. Those plants make the F-150 pickup truck, the Fusion sedan and the Fiesta subcompact.

Ford Motor Co. will close its Louisville, Kentucky, plant for two weeks in October. That plant makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC small SUVs.

After six years of growth, U.S. demand for new vehicles is slowing. So far this year, overall industry sales are flat compared to 2015.

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President Barack Obama is pressing his case in America's heartland that Congress mustn't jeopardize fragile economic progress with threats of a government shutdown.

Obama was traveling to an auto plant near Kansas City, Mo., on Friday. He'll tour the plant and argue that the U.S. economy is primed to thrive, if only Congress will let it.

Barack Obama

Missouri's automotive industry will be getting renewed attention this week when President Barack Obama visits a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City.

Obama is scheduled to travel Friday to Ford's new stamping plant in Liberty, located next to the auto maker's Claycomo assembly plant, to illustrate the comeback of the nation's auto industry.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill plans to attend the event. McCaskill says the plant is a good place to highlight the turnaround of automotive manufacturing.