AVON LAKE - Ford Motor Co. has announced that it will invest $168 million into the Ohio Assembly Plant shifting production of the new 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks from Mexico to the US. The announcement was made before a crowd of nearly 800 plant workers, Ford and UAW officials, and other state and local representatives at the Northeast Ohio assembly plant.
“I want to thank Ford for bringing this truck to the greatest workforce in America,” said Tim Rowe, UAW Building Chairman. “If you think back to 2011, the future of Ohio Assembly was very bleak. There were plenty of rumors of us closing. But with the help of Ford and local and state representatives, we were able to turn things around.”
“I look forward to building on this announcement.” Rowe also went out of his way to thank all of the employees present who made this announcement possible.
The $168 million investment will help retrofit the plant in order to support the production of the medium duty trucks. Production could begin as early as the first quarter of 2015.
“This announcement is a great first step towards a bright future for all of the workers here at the plant. It demonstrates a commitment to working together,” said OHAP Plant Manager Jeff Carrier. “Without the commitment of the workers, we couldn’t have gotten here. We should thank them every day for all of the things they do.”
While the announcement was actually part of the 2011 contract agreement between Ford and the UAW, the $168 million investment is $40 million higher than originally announced.
The reaction from the crowd was overwhelmingly positive as Joe Hinrichs, President of the Americas, unveiled the F-650, one of the two new trucks that would be built at the plant.
“I appreciate the announcement Ford made today,” said Frank Gidlia, a 21 year Ford veteran. “While I hope to hear future product announcements for the plant, this should stabilize our workforce for going forward.”
Another long time Ford employee, David Fennell, offered this reaction, “This is a great announcement and shows we can work together. After 22 years with the company, it’s nice to know we still have a future here at this plant. It’s a great step in the right direction”