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Ford recently announced that the company will invest $900 million in its Kentucky Truck Plant for upgrades to build the new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator at the Louisville facility. Both full-sized sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will be exported to more than 55 markets globally and will begin arriving in dealerships later this fall.
The $900 million investment, which is in addition to the $1.3 billion investment and 2,000 jobs created at the plant in late 2015 to build the new Super Duty, will secure 1,000 jobs for hourly workers. The Kentucky Truck Plant currently employs nearly 7,600 full-time hourly workers.
"Large SUVs are attracting a new generation around the world, and we're finding new ways to deliver the capability, versatility and technology that customers around the world really want with our all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of global operations.
Ford also announced that production of the next-generation Focus will begin in the second half of 2019, with models coming from the company's existing plants. Most new North American Focus models initially will come from China, with additional variants coming from Europe later.
No U.S. hourly employees will be out of a job tied to the new manufacturing plan. Production of the current North American Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant will continue through mid-2018. Following that, the plant will be converted to produce the Ranger midsized pickup truck in late 2018 and the Bronco midsized SUV in 2020.
The new Focus production plan is expected to save $1 billion in investment costs by cancelling plans for a new manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and moving Focus production to Ford's plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.
"Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles," Hinrichs said.
For more information, visit www.corporate.ford.com.