January 14, 2009

UAW sees opening for diesel production

A Ford Motor Co. settlement with Navistar International could open the door for an Ohio factory to begin diesel engine production, a union official said.

Ford signed a letter of understanding with the United Auto Workers in 2007 that said, should the opportunity arise, it would consider producing diesel engines at a Brook Park plant near Cleveland, Local 1250 President Mike Gammella told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

On Tuesday, Ford settled a prolonged dispute with Navistar, which had been building diesel engines for Ford for decades, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans would not give out details of concerning Ford's plan to replace Navistar, but said the company has a solid plan for continuing our leadership in this market.

Gammella said Ford terminating its arrangement with Navistar provides an opportunity.

We're going to seize upon this opportunity, he said.

Ford has two engine production facilities at Brook Park, including Engine Plant No. 1, which has been idle for more than a year due to a lack of demand for the 3.5 liter V-6 engine the plant was designed to produce, the newspaper said.