Ford to invest $400 million to build a new vehicle at Kansas City assembly plant

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 21, 2011

Ford Motor Co. will invest $400 million to produce a new vehicle at its Kansas City, Mo., assembly plant as production of the Ford Escape will be moved to its Louisville, Ky., factory. This investment covers the installation of a new body shop, new tooling and other upgrades.

Because of this investment, 3,750 jobs at the Missouri plant will be protected. The Ford F-150 pickup will continue production at the Kansas City plant but it will be on a separate line. As part of the project, Ford is receiving incentives under the 2010 Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act.

In a statement, Ford said that this bill gives tax incentives for automotive manufacturers that provide new investments and retain or add jobs in Missouri, as well as suppliers who create new jobs in the state. The Kansas City plant is the fourth North American facility that Ford is retooling to build new models.

It has yet to be announced what new vehicle will be produced at the Missouri plant. Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas, said in a statement that this investment and the plan to build a new vehicle in Kansas City strengthen Ford's commitment to U.S. manufacturing and American jobs.

Fields added that investing in its “plants, products and people” is vital to Ford's competitive edge. He explained that to remain at the top of its game, Ford is committed to “doing everything it takes to work with its partners, including the United Auto Workers.”

Press Release

Ford Commits to Invest $400 Million, Retain Jobs in Kansas City to Support New Vehicle Production

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) today announced a further commitment to U.S. manufacturing with plans to build a new vehicle at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri after Ford Escape production moves to Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant and retooling of the Kansas City facility is complete.

Ford will invest $400 million in the Kansas City plant to install a new body shop, new tooling and other upgrades. In addition, the company has committed to retain 3,750 full-time jobs at the plant – consistent with current employment levels. This includes the positions required to assemble the Ford F-150, which will continue to be built at the facility on a separate line.

"This investment and promise of a new vehicle to be built in Kansas City reinforces Ford's commitment to U.S. manufacturing and American jobs," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. "Investing in our plants, products and people is critical to Ford's ability to compete with the best in the business. Ford is committed to doing everything it takes to work with its partners, including the United Auto Workers, to remain competitive."

Kansas City Assembly Plant is the fourth North American facility Ford is retooling for production of new vehicles that are at the heart of an increasingly balanced lineup of cars, trucks and utilities. The new vehicle planned for the plant will be announced at a later date.

In planning to secure Ford's future manufacturing presence in the state, Ford worked closely with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri State Legislature in passage of the 2010 Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act. This legislation provides tax incentives for certified automotive manufacturers that commit to new investments and job retention in Missouri and suppliers who create new jobs in the state.

"Today's announcement ensures that next-generation vehicles will be built right here in Missouri, by the best workforce in the country," said Nixon. "Last year, we came together to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act to help our state compete for the production jobs of the future. That hard work paid off. For thousands of employees at Ford's Claycomo plant, and thousands more at suppliers across Missouri, this news is a big win. We'll be building the vehicles of the future right here in the Show-Me State."

Kansas City Assembly Plant opened in 1951 and has approximately 3,750 employees. It currently produces the best-selling Ford F-150 on one shift and the award-winning Ford Escape on three crews.

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