In accordance with plans announced three years ago, car maker Ford is shifting production of medium-duty trucks from Mexico to its Avon Lake, Ohio plant.
While not likely to increase jobs, the move will certainly help stabilize production there.
Last January, it looked as if hundreds of jobs could be trimmed at Avon Lake for a retooling process to accommodate the new line of trucks. But a deal struck later that same month – which incorporated a rotating shift cycle for 1,000 employees -- averted the layoffs.
The Ohio Assembly Plant will take on production of all-new Ford F-650 and F-750 trucks beginning in early 2015. Ford has invested nearly $170 million to retool the plant. In turn, Ford’s E-Series Cargo and passenger van production will cease by year’s end.
“We’re going through a transition period, so we’re going to have a short period of time where we balance out some of our Econoline models," says Bruce Hettle, Ford’s Vice-President of North American Manufacturing. "But then in the first quarter of (2015) we’ll introduce this all new truck. So clearly it’s good for job security, it’s good for the future of the plant, it’s clearly a commitment from the company to the workforce.”
UAW Local 2000 president Jerome Williams could not be reached for comment. But Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur says the truck production shift from Mexico to the Ohio Assembly Plant was arranged through a collective bargaining agreement between Ford and the UAW in 2011.
(Story by ideastream's Brian Bull)