Ford moves commercial truck production to Ohio from Mexico
BERLIN: Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Wednesday will start building its medium-duty F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks at a Cleveland-area plant, moving production out of Mexico for the first time. The shift to the 41-yearold plant in Avon Park, Ohio means that about 1,000 workers represented by the United Auto Workers union will keep their jobs, Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, said in a statement issued by the company. There are about 1,400 workers at the Avon Park complex.
Ford is currently in negotiations with the UAW for a new national contract affecting about 52,300 workers. Just before those talks began last month, Ford announced it would move production of small cars Focus and C-Max from a plant in Wayne, Michigan. Ford has not confirmed UAW comments that the production is shifting to Mexico. "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," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of North America and South America.
The commercial trucks from 2000 until earlier this year were built by a joint venture of Ford and Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) called Blue Diamond in Escobedo, Mexico. The trucks are often sold as cab-andchassis skeletons and customized by purchasers to serve a wide range of uses from beverage delivery to ambulances to oilfield services.