Ford Motor Co. says it will add more than 2,000 jobs at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to meet surging demand for F-150 pickups and scheduled production of the Euro-style Ford Transit van.
“Customer demand for today’s F-150 is strong and continues growing, the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry, the housing market is strengthening, and we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas, during an announcement this morning in Kansas City.
“Our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150 is America’s favorite pickup, and we are going to expand operations in Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand.”
Ford will add 900 jobs and a third shift in this year’s third quarter to build F-150s. U.S. sales of all F-series trucks increased 24% in April and 19% year to date. Ford will add another 1,100 jobs starting in the fourth quarter to prepare for the introduction of the Transit full-size van in 2014.
“Today we celebrate the commitment to excellence displayed every day by the men and women of Kansas City Assembly Plant," said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department.
“These additional jobs are the direct result of the dedicated effort our UAW members display every day at facilities all across the country and serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation's manufacturing sector.”
Kansas City Assembly currently has 2,450 hourly workers working on two shifts to make F-150 variants.
Ford is investing $1.1 billion to retool and expand the facility for increased F-150 production and start-up on the Transit. That includes a 437,000-square-foot stamping facility and a 78,000-square-foot paint shop.
With the investment and new jobs in Kansas City, Ford says it is three-quarters of the way with its plan to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015. The company also is investing $16 billion in its U.S. product development and manufacturing operations, including $6.2 billion in plant-specific investments.
The plant expansion has a major impact in the local community and beyond, Ford noted. Kansas City Assembly has more than 250 suppliers nationally and more than 10 suppliers locally who will benefit from the addition of a third crew. Those suppliers and 31 more will grow further when Transit production starts next year.
According to the job multiplier effect of nine support jobs to every one at a major factory, more than 18,000 jobs will be created to support the plant, Ford says.
“Today’s announcement is yet another testament to our successful efforts to revitalize Missouri’s automotive manufacturing industry, which continues to gain steam,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said.
“This third crew for production of the F-150 will create hundreds of additional manufacturing jobs for workers in this region and ensure Missouri continues to lead the rebirth of the American auto industry for years to come.”
Penske Logistics has signed an agreement to purchase Greensboro, North Carolina-based Epes Transport System.