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Ford lands tax break for Cleveland-area plant

by Drew Johnson

Ford has been granted a tax break for its Avon Lake assembly plant by the state of Ohio.

Ford has secured tax benefits from the state of Ohio that will allow the Dearborn-based automaker to shift some of its commercial truck production to its Avon Lake assembly plant just outside of Cleveland.

As outlined in its latest labor agreement with the United Auto Workers, Ford will spend $128 million to retool its Avon Lake plant to produce larger commercial vehicles when the Econoline van goes out of production in 2013. The plant will continue to make E-Series cutaways and motorhome chassis, and will also gain some medium-truck work currently done in Mexico.

Although the investment won't create any new jobs, Ford says it will safeguard the plant's 1,900 workers.

"It's a big day for Ohio, and it just shows that we continue to move in the right direction," said Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Ohio estimates that the tax breaks will amount to about $15 million over the next 15 year. In order to keep the tax credit, Ford must keep the Avon Lake plant open for 18 years.

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