Ford Throws UAW (and Trump) a Bone, Shifts Work from Mexico to Ohio!
After the negative publicity the blue oval company received from the statement of the presidential candidate Donald Trump of how he will add a 35% tax to any vehicle that Ford manufactures in Mexico and tries to import into the US if he becomes president, the company’s management decided to act preemptively and started producing the heavy-duty F-Series pickup version in Ohio instead of the previous location in Mexico. This promises to keep about 1 000 union jobs in country and in one quick move, the leadership of Ford seems to have quieted down the Trump attacks and at the same time moved along the negotiations with the unions in a positive direction. Initial talks with the UAW were getting slowed to a standstill after reports emerged that Ford is trying to increase production in the Mexico plants, which meant moving some of the assembly lines in the southern neighbor factories. This was reported to still potentially affect the Focus and C-Max production since there is rumors of the heavy duty line being some sort of a trade of for the lighter vehicles.
-“Our investment in Ohio Assembly Plant reinforces our commitment to building vehicles in America,” stated Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas.
-“Working with our partners in the UAW, we found a way to make the costs competitive enough to bring production of a whole new generation of work trucks to Ohio.”
For the first time, the big trucks in the F-650 and F-750 model will get to be produced and assembled within the US. The plant in question and main battlefield in the negotiations was the Ohio Assembly Plant that had first opened its doors to workers back in 1974 and with about 1,400 full time employees tops the lists of employers in the Lorain County that it is located in. At the moment, rolling out of the assembly lines of this plant, are a number of versions of the Ford E-Series cutaway vans and stripped chassis and pretty soon, they will have to make room for their bigger brothers the F-650 and the F-750 models.
The moving around of production is actually not as easy as it sounds, since an investment of $ 168 million will be needed for the move of production from the plant located in Avon Lake in Cleveland. According to Ford, this will additionally help them continue their dominance in the commercial vehicle production where they have enjoyed many successful years so far.
And last but not least, the move is hoped to soften the impact of the statements made by the presidential candidate and their impact. In all honesty a move like the one proposed by Donald Trump, still would have to pass Congress and let’s not forget, he would have to be elected President before he can even propose a drastic move like that one, since legally there are a lot of problems enforcing tax on one manufacturer while the other ones go unpunished since, let’s face it, one way or another almost every company is building or assembling one model or another somewhere out of the US.
At least for now, the dust has settled and we will see what happens next.