Ford will be adding over two thousand jobs to the Kansas City Assembly Plant to support high demand for the F-150 as well as production of the all-new Ford Transit family of commercial vans. More than a thousand of the new jobs will be new hires with the rest coming from relocated workers and rehires from other plant closures or downgrades.
The Ford F-series of trucks has seen a 24 percent sales jump in April and a 19 percent sales increase since the beginning of the year. The Ford F-150 is the best-selling pickup truck on the market and has been for decades. Currently, the full-sized pickup truck segment is the fastest-growing segment this year, growing at three times the industry average for all other segments.
Ford has a goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs by 2015 and is already 75 percent of the way to that. The Detroit-based automaker has been expanding and is the only major American automaker to not require a government bailout or bankruptcy after the downturn in 2008. This has meant a faster recovery rate and stronger consumer confidence in the brand.
Currently, the Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the Ford F-150 Regular, Super and Crew Cab and will eventually produce the full-sized Ford Transit van as well. There are currently 2,400 hourly workers on two shifts and a third crew will be added in the third quarter (fall). Ford will have spent a total of $1.1 billion on a retool and expansion on the plant when it is complete later this year. That includes a 437,000 square foot stamping facility completed in 2012 and a 78,000 square foot paint shop on the premises that uses the three-wet paint process, which is the new industry standard for environmentally friendly auto paint.
Adding the third crew and expanded production will impact the Missouri economy greatly as well as add work for more than 250 suppliers nationally (plus ten local to Kansas City). Six of those local suppliers will be expanding their own operations to provide parts for the new Transit van when it enters production later this year.
Good news all around!