Ohio to announce tax breaks for Ford image

The state of Ohio will provide tax breaks to Ford Motor Company, which will spend $128 million to retool its assembly plant in Avon Lake, near Cleveland, to build commercial vehicles.

As part of a new labor agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW), Ford announced in October that it would convert the Ohio Assembly plant to make larger commercial vehicles when the Econoline van is discontinued at the end of 2013.

The investment will keep the plant open and will retain 1,900 jobs, with no new jobs planned. The revised plant will do medium-truck and frame assembly work that currently is done in Mexico. The Ohio plant will also do motorhome chassis work and will continue to make E-Series cutaways that are then modified for use as service vehicles.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority had a meeting on Monday with Ford’s incetive request on the agenda. Ohio gives most automotive investments state and local aid. On Tuesday morning Ohio Governor John Kasich is expected to confirm state incentives during a press event at the Ford plant. Ford’s vice president of North America manufacturing, Jim Tetreault, will also be present, as well as a UAW regional representative.