Ford will idle 1,222 workers at its Kansas City plant to retool it for Transit commercial van

Article by Christian A., on April 3, 2012

Starting on April 27, Ford Motor Co. will implement temporary layoffs, affecting 1,222 of the 3,300 workers at its factory in Kansas City, Mo., according to a Missouri Journal report. Ford is doing this while a production line is being retooled to make the full-sized Ford Transit commercial van. This plant makes the Ford Escape crossover and F-150 pickup.

While this renovation is ongoing, production of the F-150 will continue. Ford will start production of the Transit van sometime in the middle of 2013. The production line of the Escape at Kansas City will be terminated on April 27 and will be transferred to Louisville, Ky. Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans told the Kansas City Business Journal that it’s because of preparations for the new Transit that there had to some layoffs.

He said that several Escape production workers would take care of the plant renovation while the rest would be responsible for the production of the F-150. Evans declined to say when these workers would return. Ford intends to invest $1.1 billion at this facility where the Transit will be rolled out beside the F-150. The Transit is being assembled and is available outside of North America. The Business Journal said that Ford will be adding 1,600 local jobs because of this move.

Ford’s all-new Transit Custom takes the automaker’s Transit family to a whole new design direction with its contemporary and stylish look, which extends its appeal for a new generation of one-ton van customers.

The new Transit Custom embodies a similar dynamic character and similar design cues as the Ford kinetic design passenger cars with its advanced and streamlined design, without compromising its outstanding load-carrying ability, which is a trademark quality of the Transit brand.

According to Paul Campbell, Ford Europe Commercial Vehicle Chief Designer, the new Transit Custom appears like no Transit has ever looked before, with a new design that is bold and has a distinctively sporty and modern feel. He said that customers in this segment expressed their desire for a vehicle that they would be proud to have, so Ford has given them just that.

Campbell added that one look at the new Transit’s bold trapezoidal lower grille as well as the large swept-back headlamps flowing into its muscular rising shoulder line conveys that this is a new kind of Transit. Moreover, the more dynamic character and the sportier stance of the vehicle make a powerful impact.

He also said that by giving the vehicle’s front end a more 3D and curved appearance in plain view, as well as by subtly increasing its upper body sides’ 'tumblehome,' Ford has come up with a design that is more compact and stylish, visually speaking, but which also retains superb practicality and space.

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