The 2013 Ford Escape is now a production reality, the completely redesigned crossover now rolling off the lines at Ford's Louisville assembly plant. Still a top seller in its last model year, the brand-new 1.6-liter EcoBoost Escape gets 22 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and yes, the $23,295 base model does get pricey very quickly when you start ticking the reams of options boxes. Nevertheless, the Escape surpassed the 8,000-orders mark before any customer had even driven it.

Its looks have found some detractors, but we have a feeling that it won't have any problem finding new homes. Scroll down for a video of plant workers talking about production processes, and a press release on what the Escape's production has meant to the area.

Show full PR text
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 transmission
- 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 by 2015
- 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 transmissions.

"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 changeover.

"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 administration.

"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 nation."

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 off-road.

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 include:

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 $8 million.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Our local Ford dealers have several 2013 Escapes in inventory. Is this a different assembly line that you are talking about or what?
        • 3 Years Ago
        old video??? my intuition tells me it wasn't made yesterday...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Did anyone else lol @ the random lady in red warning about dropping stuff at 0:45-0:55? What was that?!
        The Angry Intern
        • 3 Years Ago
        That was the beginning of them talking about that training center. I think she was training people to make sure they don't drop stuff like that.
      That Guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man....the looks of this little vulgar micro pod border on offensive. The focus is bad enough as a focus (its horribly designed) but this is worse. Sales will drop considerably. The previous escape had a great tough looking exterior (tougher than the ugly new explorer softroader for that matter) and that drove a lot of sales. Ford should really ask people if a design is good or not rather than passing pictures around the bathroom inside their own little world and saying "eh... Good enough ". That would have prevented such terrible and inconsistent designs like the focus, Taurus, fiesta, explorer, escape, fusion, flex, f150, super dooty, and all of the Lincoln rebadges.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @That Guy
        I think you have shown the Autoblog community just how little you know. Only, you could have done it with a lot less words.
      • 3 Years Ago
      P.S. The plastic at the bottom of the headlight is stupid. Can't wait to see that fade!
      • 3 Years Ago
      After owning a 12 Focus(t-boned in it, should have been totaled, nonetheless it has been traded), and after sitting in a new Escape its almost ridiculous. I can understand platform sharing but its almost a jacked up carbon copy. Now don't get me wrong I loved my Focus, but the front end needs help. Its boring, and the massive plastic mouth is hard to clean and looks awkward at certain angles. What sold me on the Focus was the ride, quality interior(minus the ghetto rattling sunglass holder), MFT, and the Blue Candy color. The rims were ugly though(Ford used to make some real nice and interesting rims for cars). Honestly, if Ford was smart they would have taken this new platform and built a modern Bronco-ish looking suv. Ford just does not get it, one Ford is not going to work. There was a reason we had two different styles. We are American, we like American styling. And there are many who know just what that is, men and women. I am ashamed of Ford and I have been a Ford man my whole life. All of these new Fords are just Euro remakes, and that is a shame. From a country who made such great and amazing vehicles once before, are now turing to other clountries. I assume this is because of their previous arrogance and then near death. All I can hope for is we have true American styling back again one day. Thank God we have the Mustang, F-series, and some of the Taurus. I am sure those will be screwed one day, so I hope to buy one soon(Mustang), and keep it until Ford wises back up.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This paticular application of the ecoboost just doesn't make any sense to me. It doesn't get much more power than any of the competition and has less than some. The fuel economy isn't leaps and bounds higher. Yet now I have to deal with the added complexity of having a turbocharged small displacement engine. Atleast GM can brag about best in class with the Cruze Eco.
        XJ Yamaha
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wait, Cruze Eco verses this? All I see is over 30 mpg with AWD and good reviews in terms of power. I guess I haven't been comparing this to the Cruze though....
      Dee Jackedup
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've tried really hard to like this design. But i really really don't. It's ugly. It already looks dated and it's not even out yet. I think we're gonna a major drop in Escape sales. Prove me wrong Ford.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dee Jackedup
        My guess is that Ford will sell fewer of them, but at a higher average transactions price, so total revenue and profit from that model will be about the same, if not higher.
        Dee Jackedup
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dee Jackedup
        *gonna see
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the styling and price of the Mazda CX-5 a lot more.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agreed. My family owns a couple Escapes that in need of replacement. They aren't that thrilled with this new Escape, either.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can we start moving back to springs on the hood? I almost broke my hand on my mom's MKZ when I popped the hood and it crashed back down. I was just expecting it to have springs like my Aviator and LS.
        • 3 Years Ago
        What do you expect from a gussied up mid-size Ford? That said, my old Honda Accord/old VW Jetta/current Camry Hybrid all had hood struts...
          That Guy
          • 3 Years Ago
          You'd think a functioning person would be able to tell when they lifted the hood if it had struts or not.
      • 3 Years Ago
      No offense to Escape/Ford fans, but thing will always look like a Focus on steroids to me..
        • 3 Years Ago
        Those were my exact words. My neighbor has had one for about two weeks and all I see in this thing is bloated Focus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry. Just don't like that wide, gaping, Mazda-like grin. Sorry.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X