Ford Motor Company will invest $1 billion to upgrade its Ford assembly and stamping plants in Chicago and add 500 jobs to produce the new Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator that are likely to go on sale later this year.
The assembly plant’s transformation will commence in March and be completed by spring as per the company estimates. Its capacity will expand to produce the new SUVs and hence bringing in 500 new full-time positions adding up to the total number of jobs at the two plants to be around 5,800.
Ford is planning to build a new body shop and paint shop at the Chicago Assembly factory. Also, major modifications will be made to the final assembly area, while the Chicago Stamping plant will get new stamping lines to build the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator. Also, advanced technological equipments like collaborative robot with a camera and 3D printed tools have been installed at the plant to assist employees in building these vehicles of even higher quality for its customers.
“We are proud to be America’s top producer of automobiles. Today, we are furthering our commitment to America with this billion dollar manufacturing investment in Chicago and 500 more good-paying jobs. We reinvented the Explorer from the ground up, and this investment will further strengthen Ford’s SUV market leadership.” says Joe Hinrichs – President, Global Operations.
Whereas Rory Gamble – Vice President of the UAW Ford Department commented: “Ford’s announcement of 500 additional jobs and over $1 billion in plant investments is a testament to the quality and hard work of UAW Ford members. Every day UAW Ford members head to work, proud of the products they build and the craftsmanship required in vehicles like the Explorer, Aviator and Police Interceptor. Ford’s investment announcement demonstrates a commitment to the dedication of UAW members in Chicago.”
Additionally, Ford will spend no less than $40 million for employee-related improvements at its Chicago plants. These will include new “LED lighting, cafeteria updates, new break areas, and security upgrades in the parking lot” in partnership with UAW and government.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says “The assembly plant is a local and regional economic engine where iconic American brands like the Lincoln Aviator and Ford Explorer are built. This investment is a testament to the strength and vibrancy of Chicago’s manufacturing sector, and I look forward to Ford’s presence in our city for generations to come.”
The Chicago Assembly is Ford’s longest continually operating vehicle assembly plant, which started producing the Model T back in 1924.