Ford revamped its Louisville Assembly Plant and is ramping up operations to produce its 2013 Ford Escape, creating approximately 4,500 job in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
"Today marks a celebration of progress and transformation," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. "Louisville Assembly Plant's reinvention illustrates how Ford is going further, continuing to invest in American manufacturing and new jobs while delivering even more of the fuel-efficient vehicles that give customers true power of choice."
Ford invested $600 million to transform its Louisville plant into the company's most flexible high-volume plant in the world, and a new labor contract signed with United Auto Workers Union provided cost reductions to allow a third shift to be hired.
In addition to the Louisville Assembly Plant, Ford will to invest $600 million at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, which employs more than 4,000 people and manufactures the F-Series Super Duty line of trucks, he said.
"This is a day of celebration for Ford and the Commonwealth of Kentucky," Gov. Steve Beshear said. "Production of the new Escape not only means thousands of jobs for Kentuckians, it boosts our GDP, tax revenue, and raises the level of the Commonwealth's robust automotive industry, which is already one of the top five in the nation."
The transformed plant has more than 20 miles of conveyors, nearly 1,000 programmable machines and robots, and the flexibility and capability to produce six different types of vehicles at the same time.
"With thousands of workers here, it's easy to see how Ford is a crucial part of Louisville's economy, but Ford plays a major role in Kentucky's overall success as well," Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson said. "The Commonwealth ranked fifth in the country for light vehicle production last year, but that ranking is expected to jump now that Ford is up and running here."
"I was proud to support federal investments that helped Ford retool the Louisville Assembly Plant, and I am thrilled to see the results today," said Rep. John Yarmuth, of Louisville. "In less than three years, we went from being behind the curve to beating the curve, and we're using American labor and ingenuity to do it. The Louisville workforce, Ford and government partners have shown just how successful we can be, working together to build the vehicles of the future and the innovations that keep our city and our country on the leading edge of manufacturing.