The automotive industry in Ohio just got good news as Ford Motor Co. announced that it plans to shift production of the 2016 F-650 and F-750 trucks to its Avon Lake, Ohio, assembly plant, rather than build them at its plant in Mexico. Ford will invest $168 million to retool the Avon Lake plant with production anticipated to begin next year for the models that will begin selling in the spring of 2015.
This is just the latest announcement from Ford to bring more work back to the United States from other areas. In January, Ford announced plans to invest $80 million into its Kentucky truck plant to produce more F-Series Super Duty trucks, boosting capacity by 55% and creating 350 new jobs. The workers will be hired from temporary workers hired to maintain production levels during the summer. All employees have been hired and will start April 1.
The Kentucky plant opened in 1969 and employs approximately 4,000. The plant builds the F-250, the F-350, the F-450 and the F-550, as well as the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.
Last week, Ford announced that its F-Series trucks, posted its best February U.S. sales in eight years. The Ford F-Series has been the company's best-selling truck for 37 years, according to the release. February sales of the F-Series trucks totaled 55,882, making the month Ford's best February for F-Series trucks in eight years. While Ford's U.S. total sales of 183,947 vehicles in February are down 6% from a year ago, and retail sales of 125,919 vehicles are off 4%, both the F-Series trucks and Lincoln brand vehicles posted strong gains.
Led by the MKZ and MKZ, Lincoln sales of 6.661 were up 36% in February compared with a year ago. This represents Lincoln's fifth straight month of positive sales gains, with double-digit gains in four of these five months. Over the last five months, Lincoln sold 34,476 vehicles, representing a 26% increase over the same period one year ago.