Thursday, June 14, 2012
Revamped Ford plant ramping up operations, will employ thousands to make 2013 Escape
Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson joined local and company officials to unveil a reopened and revamped Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, which is producing the 2013 Ford Escape. Ford is ramping up operations at the plant, which will employ approximately 4,500 workers on three crews.
“This is a day of celebration for Ford and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Beshear said. “Production of the new Escape not only means thousands of jobs for Kentuckians, it boosts our GDP, tax revenue, and raises the level of the Commonwealth’s robust automotive industry, which is already one of the top five in the nation.”
Beshear first announced in late 2010 that Ford would invest $600 million to transform the plant into the company’s most flexible high-volume plant in the world, resulting in a second shift and 1,800 new jobs. In fall 2011, Ford signed a new contract with the United Auto Workers Union, which brought a third shift and another 1,300 jobs.
Now, the transformed plant has more than 20 miles of conveyors, nearly 1,000 programmable machines and robots, and has the flexibility and capability to produce six different types of vehicles at the same time.
Kentucky is currently home to more than 440 automotive-related industries that employ more than 68,000 people. Additionally, Kentucky ranks third highest in auto industry-related employment as a percent of total state employment among the top motor vehicle producing states in the country.
“Today marks a celebration of progress and transformation,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas.
Ford’s tradition in Louisville dates to 1913, when Henry Ford began manufacturing the Model T at a small shop on South Third Street. Now, also Ford plans to invest $600 million at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, which employs more than 4,000 people and manufactures the F-Series Super Duty line of trucks.
“This is a great day for our city,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Ford’s history and Louisville’s history are intertwined, and today we begin a new chapter in that heritage, a chapter of business expansion and job growth.”
From the Office of the Governor