Ford Motor Co., the second largest US automaker will start production of its medium-duty F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks at a factory in Ohio, taking the production of the models from Mexico to the US for the first time ever.
The shift is targeting the 41-year-old plant in Avon Park, Ohio, with around 1,000 workers signed by the United Auto Workers union retaining their jobs, according to Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, commenting in a statement issued by the company. The entire Avon Park complex has around 1,400 workers. “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,” added Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of North America and South America. Starting with 2000 the commercial trucks were produced until earlier this year by a joint venture of Ford and Navistar International Corp – Blue Diamond in Escobedo, Mexico. These trucks are usually delivered as cab-and-chassis skeletons and owners customize them for a wide array of uses – from beverage delivery to ambulances. The 2016 model year will reach dealerships later this summer, a few months delayed from the time Ford announced back in March 2014, when the automaker also said it would bring production of the commercial models to Ohio.
The Avon Park assembly facility manufactured for decades the Econoline vans, with their name later change do the E-Series vans – models that have ceased production. Instead, the company now produces Transit vans in Kansas City, Missouri.