For the renovation of its Louisville, Ky. assembly plant, Ford Motor Co. will invest $600 million. The reopening is scheduled to be in late 2011, at which time about 1,800 jobs will be added.
This plant will produce the next-generation Escape for North America. This is the third body-on-frame truck plant that Ford is renovating to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The plant will be made flexible so that it can build five additional models, cars, crossovers and wagons. Ford said that this will also become the carmaker’s most advanced factory in the world. Bloomberg News revealed that this plant will be where a small crossover for Lincoln will be produced starting in 2012.
Analysts say Ford will be able to build the new Focus compact car at the factory if required. The redesigned Focus will be built at Ford's Wayne, Mich., assembly plant.
Since 1990, the Louisville plant has been producing the Ford Explorer SUV. Ford intends to halt production of the 2010 Explorer SUV on Dec. 16. Ford has already transferred the production of the all-new 2011 Explorer to its Chicago assembly plant.
The Escape and Escape Hybrid are currently being assembled in Kansas City, Mo. Ford's Kansas City plant will still build the Ford F-150 pickup on one shift. Incentives have been offered by Missouri lawmakers to Ford to bring a new model to Kansas City and make sure that the plant remains open.