Ford Celebrates Fuel-Efficient Escape Launch, Additional Jobs at
Louisville Assembly Plant
- Ford has added 1,800 jobs at Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP), with
1,300 more on the way this year to build the all-new Escape, the
nation's most fuel-efficient small utility vehicle with an automatic
- Ford has added more than 5,200 hourly jobs in the U.S. this year
alone. With LAP's third shift, by year-end, Ford is on pace to deliver
more than half of the 12,000 new U.S. hourly jobs it committed to add
- In addition to Ford's $600 million investment, Louisville-area
suppliers are supporting the Escape launch, with several investing
more than $56 million and adding more than 900 jobs locally
LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 13, 2012 – Ford Motor Company, its employees,
dealers and suppliers today are celebrating production of the all-new
Ford Escape at the company's transformed Louisville Assembly Plant,
one of several U.S. manufacturing sites where Ford is adding jobs to
meet strong customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Ford already has added 1,800 jobs at Louisville Assembly Plant and is
adding 1,300 additional workers to a third shift this fall, bringing
total hourly employment at the plant to 4,200.
Nationwide, Ford has added more than 5,200 hourly jobs already this
year. With Louisville's third-shift in place, by year end, Ford is set
to deliver more than half of the 12,000 additional jobs it committed
to add by 2015.
The company invested $600 million to convert Louisville Assembly from
a plant producing body-on-frame SUVs into a facility that builds
America's most fuel-efficient small utility vehicles with automatic
"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."
The upgraded Louisville Assembly Plant is capable of producing up to
six different vehicles at the same time, making it Ford's most
flexible U.S. plant.
As part of the upgrade, Ford installed new tooling and improved
equipment in the plant's final assembly area and body shop, including
more than 1,000 robots and 20 miles of conveyors. Reprogrammable
tooling in the body shop allows the plant to produce multiple vehicle
models at the same time without requiring downtime for tooling
"Manufacturing flexibility is critical to staying competitive in
today's global automotive marketplace," said Jim Tetreault, Ford
vice president of North America Manufacturing. "Our ability to
produce up to six vehicles from a single plant gives us a sizable
advantage in quickly adjusting our products and volumes to match
changes in customer preferences and market factors."
Louisville Assembly is the third Ford plant in North America to retool
from producing traditional body-on-frame trucks and SUVs to
fuel-efficient vehicles from global platforms.
The company's investment in Louisville is supported by strong
partnerships at the state, county and local level, as well as by
Ford's green partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Louisville Assembly Plant is one of 11 Ford facilities in the U.S.
participating in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan
Program initiated by Congress and implemented by the Obama
"This is a day of celebration for Ford and the Commonwealth of
Kentucky," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "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
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer added: "This is a great day for our
city. Ford's history and Louisville's history are intertwined, and
today we begin a new chapter in that heritage – a chapter of business
expansion and job growth."
The all-new Escape, which is on sale now, offers strong fuel economy
and customers' choice of two EcoBoost® engines – a 2.0-liter
four-cylinder as well as a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that delivers 33
mpg highway, which is 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg
better than Toyota RAV4. The Escape also features a 2.5-liter
four-cylinder engine that delivers 31 mpg highway.
In addition, Escape delivers 11 features no other small SUV offers –
including a hands-free liftgate with motion-sensing technology, SYNC®
with MyFord Touch® and active park assist. The Escape also features a
new Ford Intelligent 4WD system that provides even better traction
The Louisville-built Escape is the first of the new line of compact
SUVs to be built off of Ford's global C-car platform. The same vehicle
will be built and sold in Europe and China, where it is called Kuga,
although there will be unique powertrains and features for customers
in those markets.
Ford's global supply network is playing a key role in the launch of
the Escape, as well as the economic development of the Louisville
area. Several major suppliers have invested more than $56 million
locally and are in the process of adding more than 900 jobs, many of
which will support the Escape. Suppliers that expanded operations
Magna Seating of America Inc., which invested nearly $20 million to
build a new 140,000-square-foot plant in Shepardsville, Ky., and will
eventually employ 450 people. Magna supplies seat assemblies, fascias,
the rear subframe, upper control arms, rear camera module, trailer tow
module, fixed back glass and the rear bumper beam
Faurecia, which invested $19 million at its Faurecia Interior Systems
plant in Louisville. The facility will have 260 employees at full
production – 250 dedicated to producing the Escape instrument panel.
Faurecia also supplies exhaust systems
Martinrea International expanded its Shelbyville, Ky., operations with
a $12 million investment, adding 150 jobs. Martinrea makes body
stamped subassemblies, the front subframe and fuel filler pipe
Piston Automotive invested $5.5 million and added 50 jobs, many of
which are supporting the Escape launch. Piston makes cooling module
assemblies for the Escape
In addition to its manufacturing presence, Ford continues to play a
significant role in the Louisville community. Through its Operation
Goodwill with area dealers, Ford and its manufacturing operations
expect to donate more than $1.5 million in 2011 and 2012 combined,
supporting local nonprofit agencies.
Total Ford donations to Louisville-area nonprofits made since 2000 top