Ford Investing $1 Billion In Chicago Plants To Build Three New SUVs

Ford has great news for Chicagoans as the automaker has announced investments of $1 billion for the Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants and the addition of 500 jobs.

Capacity will be expanded for the production of the 2020 Explorer (including the Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid), Police Interceptor Utility, and Lincoln Aviator. The announcement has been made at the Chicago Auto Show by Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Global Operations in the presence of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Ford says the new investments will go toward an all-new body shop and paint shop at Chicago Assembly, as well as major modifications to the final assembly area. The company will also add all-new stamping lines at the Chicago Stamping facility.

The automaker will then implement advanced manufacturing technologies at the plants, including a collaborative robot with a camera that inspects electrical connections during the manufacturing process. Additionally, several 3D printed tools will be installed “to help employees build these vehicles with even higher quality for customers.”

Finally, $40 million of the announced investment will be spent to make the Chicago Assembly and Stamping better places to work. Ford aims to accomplish that by adding new LED lighting and cafeteria updates, new break areas, and parking lot security upgrades.

The transformation of the Chicago plant will begin in March as Ford is preparing to launch these new SUVs later this year. Work is expected to be completed in the spring. The additional 500 full-time jobs will bring total employment at the two Chicago plants to approximately 5,800.

“We are proud to be America’s top producer of automobiles. Today, we are furthering our commitment to America with this billion dollar manufacturing investment in Chicago and 500 more good-paying jobs,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Global Operations president, at the Chicago Auto Show. “We reinvented the Explorer from the ground up, and this investment will further strengthen Ford’s SUV market leadership,” the executive added.

Chicago Assembly is Ford’s longest continually operating vehicle assembly plant. It started producing the Model T in 1924 and was converted to war production during World War II.

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  • TheAmerican2point0

    I like the sound of that. With all the crime in Chicago, hopefully the addition of jobs will help people out

    • EL CHAPO THA GREAT

      do you really believe all the crimes in chiraq is actually started by the poor? If you do, then you’re sadly mistaken

      • TheAmerican2point0

        I never said that. But a lot of them are. Chicago is a generally poor place with high crime.

        • EL CHAPO THA GREAT

          Who made chiraq that way? It’s obviously wasn’t blacks that did it. If you do your research on the history of Chicago, then why did it suddenly got poor? I’m sure all the old racist whites lower the property value down just to create the ghetto and keep them there in one place. I thought this country would change after all.

    • Stigasawuswrecks

      It would. The higher the poverty rate the higher the crime rate.

  • Rocket

    The more I see the Explorer, the more impressed I am. If it drives even remotely as good as it looks, they’ll need all the manufacturing capacity they can get.

    • ErnieB

      Will be Best in class in my opinion.. that ST has my attention especially!

      • Rocket

        If only the they offered body colored fender flares and rocker panels for the ST. A small detail, but a critical one when it comes to aesthetics.

        • ErnieB

          That’s why I’d go the all murdered out way.. but I am sure it’ll be an option at some point..

  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    I wonder if the commenters who are critical of automakers who build in Mexico will give Ford the virtual high five they deserve for this announcement.

    Probably not.

    But I’ve been wrong before.

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