Ford Motor Co. has completed the upgrades to its Louisville assembly plant, which assembles the new Escape small SUV and where 3,100 jobs will be created. Ford has invested $600 million for the upgrades made to this plant, which had actually opened back in 1955. Mark Fields, Ford President of the Americas, said that the transformation of the Louisville plant shows how Ford is proceeding, by continuing to invest in American manufacturing and new jobs as it builds more fuel-efficient vehicles such as the Escape.
The shipments of the new Escape from the plant have started a month ago. So far, Ford has added 1,800 hourly jobs at the plant while 1,300 more will be hired by the end of 2012 for the third shift.
This year, Ford had added over 5,200 hourly paid jobs in the U.S. this year but by the time that the third shift of the Louisville plant starts, over 50% of the 12,000 new U.S. hourly jobs it committed to add by 2015 will be on its payroll. Ford committed to this move in early 2011. This means that by the end of the year, the Louisville plant will have a total of 4,200 employees.
Ford said that the upgraded plant is more flexible, and could build as many as six different vehicles simultaneously, making it one of its most flexible U.S. assembly factories anywhere. Jim Tetreault, the vice president of Ford’s North American manufacturing, said that this flexibility will permit Ford to make adjustments to production with the changes in the market.
“Today marks a celebration of progress and transformation,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Louisville Assembly Plant’s reinvention illustrates how Ford is going further, continuing to invest in American manufacturing and new jobs while delivering even more of the fuel-efficient vehicles that give customers true power of choice.”