• Jan 19th 2011 at 4:00PM
  • 16
Ford has announced plans to invest $400 million in its Kansas City Assembly plant in Missouri. The company is shifting production of the Escape from that facility to its Louisville, Kentucky plant, which will open up a line for an unnamed model. There's some indication that the FoMoCo crew is planning to build the Transit Connect alongside the F-150 at the Kansas City facility. Regardless of what model Ford plans to build there, the company's investment will go toward new tooling, a new body shop and other improvements, while managing to save 3,750 jobs in the process.

Ford will receive around $150 million in tax breaks over 10 years for keeping the Kansas City plant up and kicking as part of the 2010 Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act. The legislation provides tax incentives for automakers who retain jobs through new investments.

The Blue Oval is now in the process of retooling a total of four plants for upcoming products. The company just recently announced that it is investing $600 million in the Louisville, Kentucky plant to produced the next-generation Escape. Hit the jump for the press release.

[Sources: Ford, Automotive News - Sub. Req.]
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* Ford commits to build a new vehicle at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri after current model Ford Escape production moves to the company's Louisville Assembly Plant and retooling of the Kansas City facility is completed
* Ford will invest $400 million in its Kansas City facility to upgrade the plant and accommodate production of the new vehicle, while retaining full-time employment of 3,750
* Based on the company's commitment to this investment level and job retention, the state of Missouri approved tax incentives that played a role in Ford's decision

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 18, 2011 – Ford Motor Company today announced a further commitment to U.S. manufacturing with plans to build a new vehicle at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri after Ford Escape production moves to Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant and retooling of the Kansas City facility is complete.

Ford will invest $400 million in the Kansas City plant to install a new body shop, new tooling and other upgrades. In addition, the company has committed to retain 3,750 full-time jobs at the plant – consistent with current employment levels. This includes the positions required to assemble the Ford F-150, which will continue to be built at the facility on a separate line.

"This investment and promise of a new vehicle to be built in Kansas City reinforces Ford's commitment to U.S. manufacturing and American jobs," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. "Investing in our plants, products and people is critical to Ford's ability to compete with the best in the business. Ford is committed to doing everything it takes to work with its partners, including the United Auto Workers, to remain competitive."

Kansas City Assembly Plant is the fourth North American facility Ford is retooling for production of new vehicles that are at the heart of an increasingly balanced lineup of cars, trucks and utilities. The new vehicle planned for the plant will be announced at a later date.

In planning to secure Ford's future manufacturing presence in the state, Ford worked closely with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri State Legislature in passage of the 2010 Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act. This legislation provides tax incentives for certified automotive manufacturers that commit to new investments and job retention in Missouri and suppliers who create new jobs in the state.

"Today's announcement ensures that next-generation vehicles will be built right here in Missouri, by the best workforce in the country," said Nixon. "Last year, we came together to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act to help our state compete for the production jobs of the future. That hard work paid off. For thousands of employees at Ford's Claycomo plant, and thousands more at suppliers across Missouri, this news is a big win. We'll be building the vehicles of the future right here in the Show-Me State."

Kansas City Assembly Plant opened in 1951 and has approximately 3,750 employees. It currently produces the best-selling Ford F-150 on one shift and the award-winning Ford Escape on three crews.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most likely they are tooling for the model that is going to be based on the Ford Vertex Concept shown at Detroit. It would make sense for that kind of car to replace the aging Escape.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The next Escape is probably going to be built in Louisville. My guess would be the TC since it's selling well and especially if it gets selected to be the next NYC taxi. If NYC picks it, that'll probably prompt more major cities to make it their taxi of choice.

        If not the TC, maybe it's a yet to be disclosed Lincoln vehicle. Lincoln is supposed to getting some new product in the next 4 years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe a new Bronco? Continue the retro trend and remain the next Escape a Bronco. It'll be a wet dream but solid axles, manual locking hubs, and a coyote V8. I'd be happy with a bare bones Bronco.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can confirm its the TC, my stepdad works on the f150 side and he referred to the new vehicle going into production as an "ugly boxy minivan that those riceburners drive" lol!
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If it were a car, my bet would be on adding additional Fusion production. (If needed.)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @miles: Are there any signs that production can't keep up with the demand for Fusion?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not that I'm aware, but I do think that car is that good...

        But with the slew of cars off the C-platform, I think that's more likely. Also if the Mazda 6 is on a common platform, they should be able to add a shift back to the Flat Rock plant where they build the 6 and the Mustang.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My F-150 was built there fifteen years ago, and they did a damn good job.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they build the Transit Connect there, my bet is they build other C models, such as the Grand C-max.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My F-150 was built there fifteen years ago, and they did a damn good job.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was wondering what they were going to do with the plant since the escape production was being moved elsewhere.

      I suppose the transit connect would make sense, although the title of this article inspires wishful thinking. Falcon anyone?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford is positioning to have (3-4) plants that can build a variety of the new Global C-platform (Focus, C-Max, Escape/Vertrex, TC, Lincolns, etc...) producing up to 1 million units in the US market alone... with drivetrain flexiblity - Gas, EV, BEV, Plug-In, EcoBoost...!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      GO FORD GO!!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dang AB posting engine. It only took me half a dozen tries to post that, and then it doubled.
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