Ford invests $1.3bn in plant upgrade

Ford Super Duty trucks are produced at the company's Kentucky plant. Image courtesy of Ford.
Ford Super Duty trucks are produced at the company's Kentucky plant. Image courtesy of Ford.

US automaker Ford Motor Company has announced plans to invest large amounts of money into upgrading its Kentucky plant.

According to a statement made by the company on Tuesday, Ford will invest a total of $1.3bn into its truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

The money will be used to expand and retool the plant, and allow for the addition of a new body shop at the factory.

The upgraded plant will, once completed, be used to manufacture the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty truck.

“Through this investment, we are continuing to show our commitment to Kentucky and the city of Louisville, as well as bringing to customers industry-leading trucks to help them take care of business and earn a living,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas.

Today’s announced investment comes on the back of more than $200m invested by Ford last year into the same site.

As well, the funding follows the similarly large retooling of Ford’s Kansas City and Dearborn plants which cost the company close to $2bn.

Demand for the F-Series truck has remained strong, and the company believes this will continue into the future, necessitating the upgrade.

“With the introduction of the all-new Ford Super Duty, America’s best-selling heavy-duty pickup, we expect to continue growing our truck leadership,” said Joe Hinrichs.

The updated plant will reportedly create at least 2000 new jobs according to Ford.

These new positions will go some way to fulfilling an agreement made last month with the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union to create 8500 “new or secured” jobs at the company.

“Adding new jobs and more investment at Kentucky Truck Plant not only secures a solid foundation for our UAW members, but also strengthens the communities in which they live, work and play,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president.

“Such success highlights our members’ hard work and dedication to building world-class, quality vehicles like the Super Duty.”

Reportedly the upgrades to the Kentucky plant will begin producing the new Super Duty trucks by May next year.