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Ford Annoucement Friday


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Ford will shift truck output to U.S.

The Detroit News / February 26, 2014

Ford Motor Co. next Friday plans to announce more details of its manufacturing shift of medium-duty trucks from Mexico to the U.S., according to a person with knowledge of the timing.

The Dearborn automaker will build its F-650 and F-750 trucks at its Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, near Cleveland.

The switch is likely to take place late this year or in early 2015.

Ford currently manufactures the F-650 and F-750 in Escobedo, Mexico, through a joint-venture with Navistar International called Blue Diamond Truck LLC. That joint venture dates back to 2001.

The Avon Lake, Ohio Assembly Plant currently makes E-Series vans. The E-Series will soon be replaced by Ford’s new Transit.

A Ford spokesman did not comment on the pending move.

In 2011, Mark Fields, then Ford’s president of the Americas, said, “By moving our commercial vehicle production in-house, we will be able to streamline and strengthen the engineering and manufacturing of our next-generation medium-duty trucks.” Fields is now Ford’s chief operating officer.

Ford’s plans were first outlined following the 2011 contract agreement with the United Auto Workers.

That December, the automaker said it would pump $128 million into the Ohio Assembly Plant to support commercial truck production, in part to in-source production of it F53 motor home chassis and F59 commercial stripped chassis.

Workers at Ohio Assembly Plant were recently fearful that many of them would lose their jobs as E-Series production winds down. But Ford and the UAW in January came to an agreement that protects about 1,400 of the plant’s 1,600 jobs.

F-650 and F-750 sales are grouped into a combined heavy trucks category.

Last year, Ford sold 8,682 vehicles in the heavy trucks category, up about 21 percent compared to the previous year.

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I realize how excited you are about this move, but I simply don't see anything new here. Ford has allowed their medium truck market share to dwindle to nothing. Despite having a second chance with GMC's withdrawal from the market, Navistar and Freightliner now dominate the medium-duty segment.

Despite not having invested any meaningful amounts of money in Brazil and Turkey, the company continues to be a major player in both the medium and heavy truck segments. Ford does excite me in those markets. Just imagine what they could do there with some truly new models including a serious Class 8 that could take on the European truckmakers head-to-head?

However in the US, Ford has made a decision to focus on cars and light trucks. Ford has the money and wherewithal to re-enter the US heavy truck market tomorrow, or to lead in medium truck sales. But their thoughts are elsewhere.

With Avon Lake, Ford is simply relocating there from Mexico because they have to move somewhere following their divorce with Navistar. It's a move born out of necessity, not an indication of new thinking on the commercial truck side at Ford corporate.

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I realize how excited you are about this move, but I simply don't see anything new here. Ford has allowed their medium truck market share to dwindle to nothing. Despite having a second chance with GMC's withdrawal from the market, Navistar and Freightliner now dominate the medium-duty segment.

Despite not having invested any meaningful amounts of money in Brazil and Turkey, the company continues to be a major player in both the medium and heavy truck segments. Ford does excite me in those markets. Just imagine what they could do there with some truly new models including a serious Class 8 that could take on the European truckmakers head-to-head?

However in the US, Ford has made a decision to focus on cars and light trucks. Ford has the money and wherewithal to re-enter the US heavy truck market tomorrow, or to lead in medium truck sales. But their thoughts are elsewhere.

With Avon Lake, Ford is simply relocating there from Mexico because they have to move somewhere following their divorce with Navistar. It's a move born out of necessity, not an indication of new thinking on the commercial truck side at Ford corporate.

KS-Word is big announcement today, 5PM at the National Work Truck Show in Indiannapolis. Looking at the show website, of the truck mfgs., Ford's area looks like largest. I thought announcement would be today at ConExpo in Vegas-they have a good amount of floor space there too- we shall see at 5PM. some of my fellow Ford "followers" have suggested they in essence will just continue with the Navistar components but in their own plant -part of the UAW contract deal- while others say-no way-like Firestone, Navistar is on the "never again" list.

Any opinion? By the way, Mack too has space at the Indy show-must be pushing the Cummins powered Granite.

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