CHICAGO Ford Motor Co. plans to hire more than 2,000 workers and add a third shift at its assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo., in order to support demand for its F-150 pickup and produce a new line of commercial vehicles.
"Customer demand for todays F-150 is strong and continues growing, the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry, the housing market is strengthening, and we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy," Joseph Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of the Americas, said. "We are going to expand operations in Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand."
U.S. sales of Fords F-Series trucks rose 24 percent in April and grew 19 percent year to date compared with the same period a year ago, the company said recently. Ford plans to add 900 jobs and a third crew to build F-150s during the third quarter.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based company will add another 1,100 jobs starting in the fourth quarter to prepare for the introduction of its full-sized Transit van, part of the new Transit family of commercial vehicles, in 2014.
The Kansas City assembly plant now makes the F-150 regular-, super- and crew-cab models, employing 2,450 hourly workers on two shifts. It added a second shift at the factory last July (amm.com, July 25).
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, completed last year, and a 78,000-square-foot paint shop.
More than 250 U.S. suppliers of the Kansas City plant will benefit from the addition of a third crew, according to Ford. When Transit production starts next year, it will spur growth for close to 275 suppliers nationally, the company said.
Detroit-based General Motors Co. is in the midst of expanding its Kansas City, Kan., plant, adding a 450,000-square-foot paint shop and new stamping press (amm.com, Jan. 29).