Ford Ends Blue Diamond Venture With Navistar
2016 F-650 (PHOTO: FORD)
Ford Motor Company is ending a joint venture with Navistar early next year to produce an in-house version of its F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks for the 2016 model year.
Ford plans to end the venture in early 2015 and move production of the trucks to Ohio.
"We expect to be able to better meet customer needs by designing and manufacturing the all-new F-650/F-750 in-house, in addition to using Ford designed and built engines and transmissions," said Michael Levine, a Ford spokesman.
The current generation of F-650 and F-750 trucks has been produced since 2004 by Blue Diamond Truck Co., which operates in the Navistar plant in General Escobedo, Mexico.
Navistar and Ford formed the venture in 2001. In December of 2011, Ford notified Navistar it would end of the partnership. The decision came as part of Ford's deal with the United Auto Workers to move production from Mexico to the U.S.
The 2016-MY trucks will be built in Avon Lake, Ohio, starting in mid-2015. Ford has also elected to end its partnership with Cummins and Allison Transmission by equipping the trucks with a pair of Ford-built engines and a Ford transmission. The trucks will be available with a gasoline V-10 or diesel-powered V-8.
Navistar has been well informed about Ford's decision to end Blue Diamond, the company's president and chief executive told investors during a conference call last week.
"That line in Mexico builds not only medium-duty trucks for Ford, but also builds medium-duty trucks for Navistar," Troy Clarke said on the call. "And so, we do have plans for how to use those assets going forward, and quite frankly it provides additional production capacity for us going forward as well. [It] gives us the opportunity to rationalize where we build certain products to reduce our logistics costs, as we — and so, we can ship from different — basically from different sites."
To beef up its own medium-duty offerings, Navistar will offer more engine and transmission options to customers of its International trucks. Navistar has reportedly struck a deal with Cummins to add a diesel engine option, reports the Wall Street Journal.
By Paul Clinton