Ford invests $1 billion, adds 500 jobs to expand Explorer plant

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Ford Motor Co.is investing $1 billion in two Chicago factories and hiring 500 full-time workers to expand its ability to crank out high-profit sport-utility vehicles, including its new Explorer.

"When it's all finished, Chicago Assembly will have an all new state-of-the-art body shop, an all-new paint shop and new tooling to build this new lineup", Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations, said during a news conference at McCormick Place ahead of the Chicago Auto Show.

The Ford Explorer and the Police Interceptor Utility are incredibly popular and profitable vehicles for Ford. Total employment will increase to approximately 5,800 workers.

Ford invests $1 billion, adds 500 jobs to expand Explorer plant - Autoblog

Ford built almost 2.4 million vehicles in 2018, leading the United States as the top producer of vehicles as well as the leading exporter.

Ford's redesigned Aviator and Explorers come as the automaker, as well as competitors like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, shift away from sedans in favor of the SUVs and light trucks that have taken a larger share of the automotive market in the past decade.

Additional improvements will be made to the tune of $40 million to enhance employee work environments including new LED lighting and security upgrades.

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"As Chicago continues to strengthen our diverse economy, Ford's commitment to infuse almost a billion dollars into their Southeast Side assembly plant is a vote of confidence in our people and our future", commented Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The overhaul of the plants - an assembly plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave.in Chicago and a stamping plant in Chicago Heights - is expected to begin in March and be completed in the spring.

"As Chicago continues to strengthen our diverse economy, Ford's commitment to add 500 jobs and infuse almost a billion dollars into their Southeast Side assembly plant is a vote of confidence in our people and our future", Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated. "Every day UAW Ford members head to work, proud of the products they build and the craftsmanship required in vehicles like the Explorer, Aviator and Police Interceptor". Rahm immediately placed an order for more Fords.

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In preparation for the new models.

Based on average fuel costs. The Aviator is Lincoln's new entry in the growing premium midsize utility segment. The Lincoln Aviator will be available globally, entering the highest volume segment in the US, the midsize luxury market, and the third-highest volume segment in China.

All three of the all-new vehicles will be available later this year.

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