Ohio is set to provide tax breaks to Ford Motor Co. which is spending $128 million to retool its assembly plant in Avon Lake, near Cleveland, to make commercial vehicles, according to a report in the Detroit News.
Ford announced in October, as part of a new labor agreement with the United Auto Workers, that it would convert the Ohio Assembly plant to make larger commercial vehicles when the Econoline van or E-Series is discontinued at the end of 2013.
The investment keeps the plant open and retains 1,900 jobs. No new jobs are planned, said Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans. Future plans call for Avon Lake workers to do medium-truck and frame assembly work that currently is done in Mexico. The Ohio plant also will do motorhome chassis work and continue to make E-Series cutaways that are then modified for use as service vehicles.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority met Monday (Dec. 6) with an agenda that included Ford’s incentive request. Most automotive investments receive state and local aid.
A press event is planned for Tuesday morning at the Ford plant where Ohio Gov. John Kasich is expected to confirm state incentives.
Jim Tetreault, Ford’s vice president of North America manufacturing, will be in attendance as well as a UAW regional representative, to confirm the company’s previously announced investment plans.
Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley, and Ohio state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, will hold a press conference call to criticize Kasich for not actively supporting the $85 billion auto bailout.
Even though Ford Motor Co. didn’t receive a bailout — as General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC did — some have argued that Ford might not have survived if its rivals’ collapse had destroyed the auto supplier base.