In a move that has pissed off the UAW, Automotive News reports that Ford has decided against building two new EVs in Ohio, deciding to move production to Mexico instead. The UAW has threatened action.
The two EVs, one Ford and one Lincoln, have been rumored to be coming since at least late 2019. The vehicles, codenamed CDX746 and CDX747, are supposed to go into production for the ’23 model year. Their place of production though has moved around. Initially, Cuautitlan, Mexico was chosen as the production site as the two EVs were to be produced alongside the Mach-E. That then changed to Flat Rock, Michigan. Ohio was finally chosen. This is where the issues that the UAW has with the contract come into play.
Ford renewed its contract with the UAW at the Avon Lake, Ohio, plant in 2019. Ford promised a $900 million of investment and a new model for the plant, which currently produces Super Duty models. But a source informed Automotive News of Ford’s decision to go with Mexico instead of Ohio for the EV. Ford seemed to be ahead of everyone announcing it was going to add another EV model to the Mexico plant in November of ’20.
In a letter to plant employees, Ford states that it decided to have Ohio continue to focus on the Super Duty, and still plans to invest in the factory:
“Ford Motor Co. believes in the Ohio Assembly Plant work force, our state and local government officials and the communities of Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake and Sheffield Village. The company has affirmed that commitment with the investment and additional full-time positions referenced previously. I firmly believe that this, coupled with our history of successful new-product launches, has put us in position to provide a significant advantage to the company’s competitiveness in the Commercial Vehicle segment.”
UAW head Gerald Kariem called the move “corporate greed”:
“Unfortunately, Ford Motor Co. has decided it will not honor its promise to add a new product to OHAP and, instead, it intends to build the next-generation vehicle in Mexico. Ford management expects us to just hang our heads and accept the decision. But let me be clear, we are making a different choice. We 100 percent reject the company’s decision to put corporate greed and more potential profits over American jobs and the future of our members. We expect the company to honor its contractual commitments to this membership and when it fails to do so we will take action.”
It’s unclear what action the UAW plans to take against Ford. While the UAW doesn’t seem like they will accept this without a fight, it doesn’t seem as if Ford will reverse its decision.