Ford Laying Off 130 Workers in Ohio on Softer Demand for Work Trucks

By John D. Stoll Features Dow Jones Newswires

Ford Motor Co. will temporarily lay off 130 workers at a factory near Cleveland, a move aimed at lessening supply of medium-duty work trucks hit by softening demand.

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The layoffs, announced Thursday and covering a shift at a plant at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, take effect next week and are expected to last until a newer version of the company's F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks launches in September. F-Series medium-trucks are sold for various business uses and are among the company's more profitable business lines.

The strength of the commercial-truck sector has been considered a sign that economic activity is robust in the U.S. The affected trucks serve a variety of needs, from dump trucks to cargo haulers to tow trucks.

Ohio is home to several automotive assembly plants and factories that make parts for cars and trucks. The state is one of several being highlighted amid President Donald Trump's push for more American jobs in the car industry.

U.S. auto sales are slumping in 2017, potentially falling off a seven-year growth streak that has included two consecutive record years for volumes of lighter vehicles, such as pickups, SUVs and sedans. Through April, light-vehicle sales are down 1.3%, according to Autodata Corp.

Sales of big trucks have taken a much bigger hit, falling 16% through the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago, according to WardsAuto.com. Big-truck sales have fallen for 12 consecutive months, WardsAuto.com said.

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Ford's heavy-truck sales are down 10.7% through four months.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 04, 2017 23:01 ET (03:01 GMT)