Additional shift to build F-150 pick-up truck at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant
Ford Motor Company leaders were joined Thursday by Governor Jay Nixon and representatives of the United Auto Workers Union to announce a third production shift at the plant for the Ford F-150, to meet the increased demand for America’s most popular pickup truck.
With Ford F-Series sales up 24 percent in April and 19 percent for the year, a third production shift at its Kansas City Assembly Plant will help Ford meet this demand while creating an additional 900 auto manufacturing jobs. The company will also begin hiring 1,100 workers to prepare for the introduction of the all-new Ford Transit full-size van in 2014.
“The housing market is strengthening, we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy, and the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Our Built Ford Tough F-150 is America’s favorite pickup, and we are going to step up operations at Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand.
Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the Ford F-150 regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew and will produce the Ford Transit. The plant currently has 2,450 hourly employees working on two shifts and will add a third crew in the third quarter.
“Today’s announcement is yet another testament to our successful efforts to revitalize Missouri’s automotive manufacturing industry, which continues to gain steam,” Governor Nixon said. “From establishing an Automotive Jobs Task Force on my first day in office to passing the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act during a special legislative session, my administration has focused on making sure the vehicles of the future are built by workers here in the Show-Me State. And as a result, Missouri’s auto industry has come roaring back to life.”
Ford is investing $1.1 billion to retool and expand the facility for production of both the F-150 and Transit, including a 437,000-square-foot stamping facility and a 78,000-square-foot paint shop.
The new stamping facility was completed in 2012. The paint shop expansion will include installation of the three-wet paint process, which is more environmentally friendly and requires less time than conventional paint processes – without compromise to Ford paint quality or durability.
“Today we celebrate the commitment to excellence displayed 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.”
With the investment and new jobs at Kansas City, Ford is three-quarters of the way to delivering on its plan to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States 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. These actions, including today’s announcements, are consistent with Ford’s previous 2013 financial guidance for the total company and North America.
The plant expansion has a major impact in the local community and beyond. Kansas City Assembly Plant has more than 250 suppliers nationally and more than 10 suppliers locally that will benefit from the adding of a third crew. Additionally, when Transit production starts next year, close to 275 suppliers nationally and six suppliers locally will grow their businesses. According to the job multiplier effect of nine jobs to every one – more than 18,000 jobs will be created to support the plant.
To facilitate Ford’s historic expansion, the company was able to take advantage of the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, which Gov. Nixon signed into law in 2010. The act provides strategic incentives to manufacturers and industrial suppliers who meet strict requirements for job creation and capital investment. Associated Industries of Missouri was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the Manufacturing Jobs Act when it was passed by the legislature during the special legislative session of 2010.
“The results of the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act speak for themselves,” said AIM president Ray McCarty. “We knew that if we improved the climate for automobile manufacturers in Missouri, they would come. They have, and they continue to do so.”