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Ford's Move to End Most U.S. Car Production Will Force Ohio Parts-Makers to Adjust

photo of Ford Cleveland Engine Plant 1
Various Ford plants in Ohio make engines and also assemble cars and trucks. The impact of Ford's decision will be felt there and at parts suppliers around the state.

The announcement this week that Ford will drop almost all of its traditional car models could have an impact on the hundreds of parts manufacturers in Ohio.

A 2015 report showed that almost 600 parts supplier are based in Ohio -- making everything from tires and wheels to mirrors and doors – second only to Michigan in the country.

Joanna Ganning is an assistant professor of economic development at Cleveland State University. She says it’s hard to tell what impact Ford’s move will have, since the company still needs parts, even if they’re going into different types of vehicles.

“Ford is not looking to sell fewer cars. So they may be shifting from sedans in the U.S. market to SUVs and the larger trucks. Plants are always wise to keep an eye to the future of how those industries are changing, and how they might keep their workforce trained for those new industries.”

Ganning adds that parts manufacturers may need to adapt to new technologies as well in the next decade, such as driverless cars.