Starting this week, the Ford Motor Company has moved production of its F-650 and F-750 trucks to its plant in Cleveland — the first time ever the company’s medium-duty trucks have been assembled outside Mexico.
According to Fortune, this decision to move production to their Ohio Assembly Plant represents a $168 million investment on behalf of Ford and a move to remain committed to American manufacturing. It also means, as stated in Ford’s press release on the move, that more than 1,000 hourly United Auto Worker jobs have been secured.
Previously, Ford’s Ohio plant was where Econoline (later called E-series) vans were built. However, the E-series line has been discontinued, and their Transit vans are manufactured in Kansas City, Missouri. The ability to build the trucks on site has meant changes to the plant, such as adding a variety of new equipment needed to make the medium-duty trucks.
According to UAW vice president Jimmy Settles,
“Building these world-class vehicles in America helps secure jobs for more than 1,000 UAW members and provides economic growth for the Avon Lake community. Strengthening the economy through job creation continues our efforts to rebuild the American middle-class and communities all across this nation.”
In a similar vein, Ford president Joe Hinrichs commented:
“Our investment in Ohio Assembly Plant reinforces our commitment to building vehicles in America and to delivering best-in-class commercial trucks. Working with our partners in the UAW, we found a way to make the costs competitive enough to bring production of a whole new generation of work trucks to Ohio.”
The 41-year-old Ohio Assembly Plant is one of the largest employers in Lorain County, currently handling approximately 1,400 employees.
This move comes, according to Business Insider, as Ford is making negotiations that could affect more than 50,000 jobs. There are concerns that production of some of their smaller cars, specifically the Focus and C-Max, will be moved to Mexico in place of the medium-duty trucks. Ford, however, has not confirmed whether the move to Ohio is in aid of this, or in fact if the move to Mexico for smaller car production is even happening.
The shift from Mexico to Ohio was first announced back in 2014, with the trucks’ 2016 models set to go on sale earlier this year. However, the move as it stands means that production on the trucks has been delayed, and they will instead be available for sale to the public later this summer.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]