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Ford to invest $168 million into Ohio assembly plant, shift production from Mexico to Cleveland

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Mar 8, 2014 at 6:07 PM

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) applauded Ford Motor Company’s announcement that it will invest $168 million into its Ohio Assembly Plant. The investment will enable Ford to shift production from Mexico and retool its Cleveland area plant to produce the company’s all-new 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks.

Following the announcement, Brown offered the following statement:

“Ford’s announcement is excellent news for Northeast Ohio workers and our state’s proud auto industry,” Brown said. “One in every six cars produced in the United States is made in Ohio due to the quality of our workforce. Bringing production back to the United States from Mexico will strengthen our state’s growing economy and make our local manufacturing base even stronger.”

The Ohio Assembly Plant opened in 1974 and currently produces the Ford E-Series lineup of vans and other commercial vehicles. According to the company, production in Ohio of some Ford E-Series vehicles will be replaced by the two new-medium duty trucks. This shift in production from Mexico to the Ohio Assembly Plant is the result of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement between Ford and the United Auto Workers (UAW).

Brown continues to fight for Ford and the U.S. auto industry. Brown, along with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), is the author of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), bipartisan legislation which would strengthen American manufacturing by establishing a Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NMI) and creating thousands of high paying, high-tech jobs. RAMI is endorsed by the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), of which Ford is a member.

In early 2009, Brown was a strong advocate for the American auto rescue which helped protect Ohio’s auto supply chain, for which Ford plays a significant role. In November 2008, he introduced S. 3175, the Auto Industry Emergency Bridge Loan Act, with a bipartisan group of colleagues. In December 2008, Brown fought to ensure that funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) were allocated to aid the Big 3 and American auto suppliers—despite near-unanimous opposition from most House and Senate Republicans. One in every eight Ohio jobs is connected to the auto industry; one in every six cars produced in the United States is made in Ohio; and 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties are home to an auto manufacturing facility.

Last month, Brown applauded a speech by Joseph R. Hinrichs, Ford Motor Company’s Executive Vice President and President of the Americas, who called for the Obama Administration to ensure strong currency manipulation measures in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Brown is the author of the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation that would stand up for American workers and businesses when countries like Japan cheat by manipulating its currency.

In March 2013, Brown joined a group of more than 50 senators in urging President Obama to put the best interests of American workers and businesses first as negotiations continued with Japan on its potential entry to the TPP. Brown and his colleagues specifically cited Japan’s longstanding efforts to impose trade barriers and block U.S. exports as actions that have hurt the American economy, domestic job creation, and specifically its auto industry.

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