Ford Motor Company announce that it will invest $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants, adding 500 new jobs. The company will spend an additional $40 million to make some “workplace improvement” and “better places to work,” according to a statement from Ford. These workplace enhancements include new LED lighting, cafeteria updates, break area upgrades and parking lot security upgrades.
The company is preparing to launch three “highly-anticipated new SUVs” that go on sale in the latter half of 2019. The company plans to implement plant transformation and redevelopment in March, expanding the capacity for the production of the all-new Ford Explorer – including the Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid – the all-new Police Interceptor Utility and the all-new Lincoln Aviator. The work will be completed in the spring. The additional 500 full-time jobs will bring total employment at the two Chicago-based plants to more than 5,800.
Ford announced it will also build a new body shop and paint shop at Chicago Assembly, and “make major modifications to the final assembly area.” These upgrades at Chicago Stamping are in preparation for the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator. Ford stated that it will update and add some advanced manufacturing technologies including a collaborative robot with a camera that inspects electrical connections during the manufacturing process. In addition, several 3D printed tools will be installed to help employees build these vehicles with even higher quality for customers.
The production of three new SUVs will add to Ford’s output in the United States. Ford was the No. 1 producer of vehicles in the U.S. and the leading exporter of vehicles from the U.S., building nearly 2.4 million in 2018, and employs the most hourly U.S. autoworkers.
“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,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. “We reinvented the Explorer from the ground up, and this investment will further strengthen Ford’s SUV market leadership.”
“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,” said Rory Gamble, Vice President of the UAW Ford Department. “Every