The century-old multinational automaker, Ford Motor Company, in its recent media release revealed that the company plans to invest $1 billion to expand production of the redesigned Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles.
The investment would be made in the assembly and stamping plants in Chicago and is expected to add at least 500 more jobs in the plant, but it comes as the automaker cut jobs overseas, particularly in the European region.
The plan to expand certain productions is in response to a decline of sedans and sports cars in favor of SUVs, crossover-utility vehicles and trucks. Other plans for the company include building a new body shop and paint shop at the assembly plants, as well as installing new manufacturing technology, including 3D-printing tools and robots. It is also likely to spend $40 million to upgrade the facilities for employees, including new LED lighting and cafeteria updates, new break areas as well as parking lot security upgrades.
Ford is not the only automaker to restructure its production in the face of changing demands. General Motors (GM) is also cutting production at plants in the U.S and Canada, owing to under-utilized factory capacity in plants focused on producing less popular vehicles like sedans and compact cars. GM is now shifting its focus towards producing more SUVs and crossovers.
This investment worth ~$1 billion is part of the Ford’s $11 billion restructuring plan, which is expected to shrink its salaried workforce of 70,000. According to analysts, Europe represents major share of job cuts, where the iconic-automaker has struggled to maintain solid footing.