Ford has announced plans to transfer production of its commercial F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks from its factory in Escobedo, Mexico to the one on Avon Lake, OH early next year after cutting ties with Navistar International Corp. The two had been working together on a joint venture known as the Blue Diamond Tricking Co. However, Ford has decided to take full control of the F-Series.
“We’re doing this to bring the 650-750 production in-house so that we have complete design, manufacturing and engineering control over our F-series lineup,” stated Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas. “In addition, moving the work from Mexico will preserve the jobs of 1,600 workers at the Avon Lake factory and honors an agreement Ford made with the UAW in 2011 contract negotiations. No new jobs will be created and Ford’s labor costs will be unchanged by the move.”
In the meantime, Ford will end production of the Econoline (aka the E-series) to clear the way for the Transit Van it is bringing from Europe and will produce at its Kansas City assembly plant in Claycomo, Mo.
There is no word (as yet) as to how long the Avon Lakes plant will be shut down as they look to refit it for the F-series. However, Hinrichs does not expect it to take as much time as it will take to convert its U.S. F-150 plants to produce the new aluminum bodies.
Note: Navistar will continue to use the Escobedo plant to build its own medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks