Kansas City, Missouri – Supported by 2,000 new employees and a $1.1 billion investment, Ford has begun production of the all-new Transit van line at its Kansas City Assembly Plant.
On sale this summer, Ford’s next-generation full-size van family will provide tradespeople and businesses with increased capability and innovative new configurations in the growing commercial vehicle market.
“Producing our built Ford tough Transit lineup in Kansas City is a big deal for the local community,” says Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Our investment in Kansas City Assembly Plant for Transit production is about delivering world-class commercial vans for a new generation of commercial customers – while building on our decades of leadership in the market and supporting new jobs throughout the region and across America.”
The 2,000 new Ford employees at Kansas City Assembly Plant puts the company more than 75% toward its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015. In 2014 alone, Ford will hire nearly 5,000 new hourly and salaried employees in the U.S.
“Today represents much more than a next-generation vehicle rolling off an American assembly line for the first time, it represents another huge milestone for Missouri as we continue to lead the rebirth of the American auto industry,” Gov. Jay Nixon says.
In the U.S., Transit eventually will replace Ford’s E-Series van, first sold in 1961 as Ford Econoline. E-Series vans and wagons still will be available and sold side-by-side with Transit into the 2014 calendar year, providing a seamless transition for Ford customers. Additionally, the E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis, made at the company’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, will continue to be built and sold through most of the rest of the decade.
The Ohio plant is in the process of converting production to medium-duty commercial trucks.
In addition to Transit, Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the F-150 pickup. The plant employs 4,878 hourly workers on three crews. The third crew was added in the third quarter of 2013.
“The good news keeps rolling in for the dedicated, hard-working men and women of UAW Local 249,” says Jimmy Settles, United Auto Workers vice president, National Ford Department. “The addition of Transit to the Kansas City Assembly Plant line is a testament to the great work our members here and across the nation are doing every day, and helps solidify the future of Kansas City Assembly.”
Ford has invested $1.1 billion to retool and expand the facility for Transit production and support surging customer demand for F-150. Expansion projects include the addition of a 437,000ft2 stamping facility and a 78,000 ft2 paint shop.
“These upgrades have helped make the Kansas City plant the global standard for Ford’s new manufacturing facilities across the world,” says Bruce Hettle, Ford vice president, North America manufacturing.
Source: Ford Motor Co.