Ford Chicago Plants: What Does A $1 Billion Investment Mean?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel with Joe Hinrichs Ford's president of global operations at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday Feb. 7 2019

Ford invests $1 billion, adds 500 jobs to expand Explorer plant - Autoblog

As General Motors closes plants and layoff thousands of workers, the Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in its Chicago assembly and stamping plants and adding 500 new jobs, as it prepares to launch three highly anticipated new SUVs that go on sale later this year, including the all-new Explorer SUV, the all-time best selling SUV in the U.S. Additional upgrades will be made to plant facilities, including implementation of 3D printing technology. It was revealed that it is not just Ford Motors but other automakers are also cutting back on producing the traditional cars in favor of the bigger sports utility vehicles and trucks.

The company said the new hires - about 200 have been added in recent weeks - will all be assigned to the Torrence Avenue Assembly Plant, bringing the total number of workers there to about 4,600.

Ford built almost 2.4 million vehicles in 2018, leading the United States as the top producer of vehicles as well as the leading exporter. "This investment will further strengthen Ford's SUV market leadership", Hinrichs said.

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The Company also plans to improve employee working conditions by investing United States dollars 40 Million in all-new LED lighting, cafeteria updates, new break areas, and security upgrades in the parking lot.

The plants will have a total of around 5,800 employees after the new round of hiring is finished.

But as Ford continues its restructuring, its Chicago-area operations stand to benefit from the emphasis on larger vehicles.

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"This investment is a testament to the strength and vibrancy of Chicago's manufacturing sector", said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. At Chicago Stamping, Ford is adding all-new stamping lines in preparation for the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator. Ford is expanding the SUV's profile, offering the sportier performance ST model, which will have as much as 400 horsepower and 415 lb. -ft. of torque, with a top speed of 143 miles per hour.

Ford observed that more and more Americans prefer SUVs and trucks so it is betting on these vehicles to increase the firm's profits. According to Ford, the new Police Interceptor Utility with standard hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain has a projected EPA-estimated rating of 24 mpg combined, a 41 percent improvement over the current model equipped with a 3.7-liter gas engine.

The All-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator will also be built at Chicago Assembly.

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