CHICAGO/LOUISVILLE/WAYNE, Mich. - Ford is planning to add 5,500 jobs at U.S. manufacturing plants this year. Of that number, approximately 3,500 will be new hires filling entry-level job openings at the Chicago, Michigan and Louisville Assembly Plants as each of those facilities adds extra crews to meet growing consumer demand for Ford’s diverse lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles.
“It really is a good news story,” said Bill Dirksen, executive director, U.S. Labor Affairs. “It’s great for Ford. It’s great for our employees. And it’s great for the communities in which we operate because for every automotive job generated there are up to 10 additional jobs created in the supply base and the services sector.”
Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP) has hired 1,200 employees to support a third crew for production of the new Ford Explorer, Taurus, Taurus SHO, Lincoln MKS and Police Interceptor vehicles.
Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) also is adding a third crew, requiring 1,200 new jobs. Approximately 850 of those jobs are being filled by newly-hired employees. MAP produces the Ford Focus and Focus Electric, and later this year the plant will launch two new electrified vehicles, the Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.
Focus has been doing extremely well in the marketplace. In February, the vehicle had its strongest sales performance in more than a decade.
Ford Escape sales went up 5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, making it the strongestever first-quarter start for America’s best-selling utility. And Focus delivered its best March sales performance ever, selling 28,293 units. Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) – where the all-new Ford Escape will be manufactured – is on track to hire 1,800 employees to support a second production shift. Of those 1,800 jobs, approximately 200 are new hires. The remainder will be transfers from other Ford locations. In the second half of the year the plant will add a third production crew with 1,300 employees all of which will be new hires.
“It feels really good to be able to hire people again,” said Dirksen. “We spent a lot of time restructuring the business and getting it competitive to a point where we can grow, and now we’re starting to see some of that growth.”
Dirksen says Ford’s partnership with the UAW has been an important key to this success.
“The support of the UAW over the last several years has been a critical factor in putting Ford in position to add jobs in American manufacturing.”
Dirksen says the addition of new employees at LAP, CAP and MAP speaks to the strength of Ford products – like Focus and Escape – that are resonating well with a growing number of customers opting for smaller vehicles.
“This is the first time ever in the U.S. that we’ve had car assembly plants on three crews,” he said. “It’s also important to note that two of the three plants – LAP and MAP – are former truck or SUV plants that are now manufacturing C-cars or CUVs.”