Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, sits behind the wheel of a Ford F-750 medium-duty truck at the Ohio Assembly Plant on Friday in Avon Lake, Ohio, where one of two new truck models will be produced starting in 2015.
AVON LAKE, Ohio — Ford Motor Co. announced Friday that it will move production of its Ford F-650 and F-750 trucks from Mexico to its assembly plant west of Cleveland.
To a resounding cheer from workers at the plant, a Ford official unveiled one of two new truck models that will be produced at the plant in 2015.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said Ford will spend $168 million to retrofit the plant, which is on a sprawling 419 acres in Avon Lake, Sheffield, and Sheffield Lake. The amount is $40 million more than the company had said it would spend to get the plant ready for the large trucks.
Ford agreed to move production to the United States during its 2011 contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.
Mr. Hinrichs said the Econoline passenger and commercial vans, which have been made in Avon Lake since the plant opened about four decades ago, will eventually be phased out.
Production of the F-650 and F-750 trucks will begin in the first quarter of 2015. Mr. Hinrichs and others said Ford was working hard to bring even more products to the Avon Lake plant.
That’s good news because right now the plant is only operating at about 55 to 60 percent of its capacity, UAW officials said. They said more products mean more jobs and more job security.
The plant has 1,590 hourly employees. Mr. Hinrichs declined to say how many employees would be needed to produce the new trucks.
He said it all depends on the marketplace and how well the vehicles sell. The line of 2016 models should be available for sale in mid-2015, many going to companies that will fit their own rear “boxes” on the chassis.
The trucks produced are designed so that companies such as U-Haul can purchase the vehicles and add their own customized rear compartments.
Nicknamed “The Beast,” the trucks come with a starting price of $55,000.