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Economy and Business

Avon Lake is wondering why planned layoffs at Ford have soared
The nine-fold increase may be addressed by company later this week

Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

Ford Motor company officials are expected to respond later this week to concerns over a big jump in the number of expected layoffs at the Avon Lake assembly plant.

Local officials want to know why the layoff total increased, and if there is an alternative to the cuts. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on what may have led to the big increase.


LISTEN: Unexpected changes for Ford

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LISTEN: Stoddard says the future looks good

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Two years ago, Ford announced it would keep the Avon Lake plant from closing by converting it from making Econoline vans to building midsize heavy duty trucks. It also said that following the multi-million dollar plant retooling starting this summer, about 100 of the 1,800 employees would be laid off.

But this week’s announcement by Ford that 900 people will be laid off has caused confusion and fear in the Lorain County community. Ford has not returned at call seeking an answer. But, auto industry analyst Haig Stoddard of Wards Auto, says the higher number seems logical considering the production shift being made. And he says the company may have miscalculated earlier. 

“The timing on some of the new products like the new full sized van might have been different. They might have been planning on starting it later than they actually ended up doing. And so they thought they were going to be build full production of Econolines while they were tooling the plant for the other truck.”

Stoddard says production of the new full-sized van is gearing up in Kansas City. As far as the new truck Ford will start making later this year, he says there’s a strong market for the vehicle  and that demand should grow in the future, meaning more hiring at the Avon Lake plant.  

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