The United States is becoming an increasingly popular manufacturing locale, and the decades-long trend of outsourcing manufacturing to south of the border or overseas seems to be gradually reversing itself. The latest case-in-point is the announcement that production of the 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks would be moving from Mexico to Ohio, at the plant that formerly made the E-Series vans.
The Avon Lake plant formerly produced the E-Series vans. With the new Transit coming out of Kansas City soon, Avon Lake was faced with the possibility of being closed, but future product for the plant was negotiated as part of the UAW’s 2011 negotiations with Ford. The Avon Lake plant will continue to build Econoline cab-chassis and cutaway commercial models.
The other big change for the 2016 F-650 and F-750 trucks is the discontinuation of the 6.7-liter Cummins ISB engine. Starting with the 2016 model, the only diesel option will be the Ford-designed 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8, which will be offered in three output levels. The 6.8-liter gas V-10 offered in the F-650 since 2012 will continue to be offered, and will give buyers the option of running on compressed natural gas or propane.
The Blue Diamond plant was a joint-venture between Ford and Navistar, where International’s 4000-series/DuraStar trucks were also built. If you’ve followed Ford’s HD pickups and medium duty trucks over the past decade, you’re probably well aware of the acrimonious relationship Ford and Navistar had in the last few years, largely centering around mechanical reliability issues of the 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel, which was designed and built by Navistar. Ford finally introduced the clean-sheet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel for the 2011 model’s redesign, the first in-house Ford diesel engine to go into Super Duty trucks.