Ford to move truck production to the US
By Justin King
Ford is reportedly preparing to shift medium-duty truck production away from a factory in Escobedo, Mexico, and back into the US at a plant near Cleveland, Ohio.
In a joint venture with commercial truck company Navistar International, Ford's Escobedo facility currently produces F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks. The operation will be moved to the company's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, likely later this year or in 2015, unnamed sources have told The Detroit News.
The Ohio plant is utilized for Ford's E-Series vans, though the lineup will be discontinued in favor of the new Transit models. The transition reportedly caused concern among plant employees, though the company late last year announced plans to use the facility to produce its F53 motor-home chassis and F59 commercial stripped chassis.
Ford sells less than 10,000 vehicles in the heavy-trucks category, which includes the F-650 and F-750 among other models.
The shift could be notable exception to a broader industry shift towards production in Mexico, which is projected to become the biggest exporter to the US by 2015. Honda earlier today announced that a new $800 million facility in Mexico is now up and running, while other automakers have committed billions in additional investments to create new plants or expand existing footprints in the country.
The reasoning behind the alleged shift remains unclear, though the latest report points to an agreement between Ford and the UAW that promised to retain the majority of the jobs in Avon Lake despite the end of E-Series production.
The company is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.