Ford Motor Company announced plans to move production of the company’s F-650 and F-750 commercial truck models from Mexico to Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, OH starting early next year. Ford says the newly redesigned F-650 and F-750 models will go on sale in spring 2015.
As part of the production shift, Ford says they will invest $168 million to retool the Cleveland-area plant for the new medium-duty trucks. Ohio Assembly Plant, which opened in 1974, currently produces the Ford E-Series lineup of vans and other commercial vehicles.
Ford says their E-Series cargo and passenger van production will end later this year, while E-Series cutaway vans and stripped chassis will continue to be built in Ohio through most of the decade. Replacing E-Series vans is the new 2015 Ford Transit that starts production this spring at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, MO.
“Shifting production of the 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks to Ohio Assembly Plant helps secure a solid future for the dedicated workers at this facility,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Building these trucks in-house will utilize our expertise from our other tough truck and commercial vehicle lines to give our customers a better product at a competitive price.”
Built by Navistar
What Ford’s press release doesn’t say is that Ford’s F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks have been built by Navistar International – not Ford - in Mexico. According to a Dow Jones report, the trucks were built through a joint venture with Navistar, known as Blue Diamond Truck since 2001. Losing all that Ford truck production business will put a serious hole in Navistar’s revenue. The Dow Jones report estimates the annual loss to Navistar could be $400 million.
Re-badging of medium trucks under different brand names is not unusual, nor is it a scandal. The GMC Forward and Chevy Tiltmaster medium duty trucks, for example, were built by Isuzu, not General Motors.
New Model Upgrades
At the same time Ford announced the production shift to Ohio, Ford also announced upgrades to to the F-650 and F-750 at the National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis:
- Newly available second-generation Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel, paired with a commercial-grade six-speed 6R140 automatic transmission with available power takeoff provision to run accessories in the field, a dump body, crane and other vocational equipment
- Gasoline engine option: A 6.8-liter V10 is available for both F-650 and F-750 models with the 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission. Ford says this engine can be factory-prepped for converting to compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas as alternatives to unleaded gasoline.
Read more about Ford's F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks here.