DETROIT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. introduced new versions of two medium-duty commercial trucks on Tuesday at a trade show in Indianapolis, vehicles that -- for the first time in years -- will be built without the help of Navistar International Corp., Cummins Inc. or Allison Transmission Holdings Inc.
The 2016 F-650 and F-750 trucks, which will go on sale in the spring of 2015, will be assembled at Ford's plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, and feature chassis, engine and transmissions all built in-house.
For years, the two vehicles were built on chassis made in Escobedo, Mexico, under a joint venture with Navistar, using diesel engines supplied by Cummins and transmissions supplied by Allison.
Ford executives say bringing the components back in-house will reduce costs and simplify service issues when they arise.
The production shift to the United States is welcome news for most of the 1,600 UAW-represented production workers employed at the Ohio plant.
They faced the specter of mass layoffs as Ford largely phased out the E-Series "Econoline" van currently made in their plant in favor of the new Transit line of vans, which will be built in Kansas City. By moving medium-duty truck production back to the United States, only a few hundred union members will lose their jobs.
F-650 and F-750 buyers will have two engine choices with the new trucks, according to Ford: a new 6.7-liter V-8 diesel, built at the company's plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, or a V-10 gasoline engine built at its plant in Windsor, Ontario, which can be factory-modified to run on compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas.