2015 Ford F-150 begins rolling off line at second factory

Ford needs more F-150s. Yeah, we just told you that a few days ago. The Blue Oval is reporting that its trucks are spending a mere 18 days on dealer lots, following a January that was the truck's best month in over a decade. Considering both of those facts, the timing is perfect for Ford to ramp up production of its all-aluminum truck by bringing its Kansas City, MO factory online.

KC Assembly has been building F-150s for decades, and completed a $1.1-billion expansion to accommodate the all-aluminum 2015 truck (as well as for work on the Transit van). Similar to what was done at Ford's Dearborn, MI factory, the Blue Oval spent 13 weeks upgrading the plant's body shop, paint shop and a road-test course. Over 900 jobs were added as part of the update. Combined with the equally upgraded plant in metro Detroit, Ford can build 700,000 trucks per year.

"The all-new F-150 has surpassed our expectations – setting new standards for fullsize truck capability, technology and efficiency," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's Americas president said in a statement. "With production starting at Kansas City Assembly, we are better poised to start meeting growing customer demand for our pickup."

Scroll down for the official press blast from the Blue Oval.

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2015 Ford F-150 Factory Tour

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2015 Ford F-150 starts production at Kansas City Assembly Plant; along with three shifts in operation at Dearborn Truck Plant, Ford is now producing even more units of the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever
All-new F-150 is turning more than four times faster than the overall full-size pickup truck segment; In addition to producing all F-150 models and cab configurations, Kansas City exclusively builds specialty F-150s with 8-foot cargo boxes and heavy payload packages to meet the needs of commercial fleet customers
Kansas City Assembly Plant facilities transformed with the latest in manufacturing technology to build the first mass-produced truck in its class featuring a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body and bed

CLAYCOMO, Mo., March 13, 2015 – Ford today marks the official start of production of the all-new 2015 F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant, which joins Dearborn Truck Plant in building the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever.

This means Ford has expanded production of the first mass-produced light-duty pickup truck with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body. In addition to producing all F-150 models and cab configurations, production at Kansas City Assembly Plant now includes F-150s with an 8-foot cargo box and heavy payload package to meet the needs of commercial fleet customers.

"The all-new F-150 has surpassed our expectations – setting new standards for full-size truck capability, technology and efficiency," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. "With production starting at Kansas City Assembly, we are better poised to start meeting growing customer demand for our pickup."

The all-new F-150 is off to a strong start. In January, F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004 – Ford's best sales year ever for F-150. Retail sales increased 7 percent in February. These numbers make F-Series one of Ford's fastest-selling vehicles, at just 18 days to turn on dealer lots – well below the light-duty full-size pickup truck average of 105 days.

F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup. Now in its 67th year, F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in America for 33 consecutive years and America's favorite truck for 38 years.

"The rollout of the all-new Missouri-made F-150 cements our position as America's truck manufacturing headquarters and marks a historic moment that has been years in the making," said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. "Six years ago, we made a commitment that the vehicles of the future would be built right here in the Show-Me State, and with today's launch of the 2015 Ford F-150, we are delivering on that promise."

Kansas City Assembly Plant renovation
In 2011, Ford announced a $1.1 billion investment to retool and expand Kansas City Assembly Plant to support production of both F-150 and the Transit full-size van family.

Similar to the work Dearborn Truck Plant received, 13 weeks were spent upgrading Kansas City Assembly Plant with the latest in advanced materials and forming and joining technologies to support F-150's innovative manufacturing process.

Upgrades to the facility include:

More than 900 new workers added to ensure the new 2015 F-150 is built with the highest level of quality and craftsmanship

All-new body shop with more than 500 new robots:
Robots to conduct state-of-the-art joining technology using riveting and structural adhesives – resulting in a tougher, more durable truck and a quieter, nearly spark-free manufacturing environment
More compact robots to install roof and door panels and to transfer the light-weighted truck to final assembly – resulting in a smaller manufacturing footprint
Robots with cameras to scan truck body to ensure the highest quality standards are met
Updated paint shop with dirt detection technology and increased robotic paint automation for a durable, best-in-class exterior appearance
Innovative production processes to support installation of new truck features such as class-exclusive 360-degree camera with split-view display
Rough-road test course to replicate extreme, real-life road conditions to ensure delivery of quiet, more durable truck
"The hardworking men and women of UAW Local 249 and Kansas City Assembly Plant are proud to be part of the F-Series tradition – one that continues to set the standard by which all American trucks are measured," said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department. "But the real contribution goes far beyond these walls; the addition of 900 new jobs and more than $1 billion in financial investment provides tremendous stability to the Kansas City, Missouri community, for which the entire UAW-Ford family can be proud."

Combined, Kansas City Assembly and Dearborn Truck facilities will have capacity to produce more than 700,000 Ford F-150 pickups per year for availability in 90 markets globally.

Toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever
The all-new F-150 is the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – boasting a military-grade, aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel frame, and shedding up to 700 pounds for a lighter, more efficient truck than any previous F-150.

The weight savings lead to customer benefits regardless of model configuration or engine choice. The innovative new truck can tow up to 1,100 more pounds and haul up to 530 more pounds than the 2014 model, and it has the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market. When equipped with an available 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine, the new F-150 4x2 returns EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Actual mileage will vary.

Numerous groundbreaking features debuted in the all-new F-150, including these class-exclusives:

360-degree camera view uses exterior cameras to create a bird's-eye view of the truck to help drivers park, maneuver in tight spots, and navigate narrow roads and trails when driving slowly
Integrated loading ramps enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers
BoxLink™ cargo management system combines metal brackets and custom cleats to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box – from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers
Trailer hitch assist adds a new rearview camera feature that incorporates a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up their truck and trailer with no spotter or need to exit the vehicle
Remote tailgate allows for tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob
The 2015 Ford F-150 has won the following awards and accolades:

2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year
Detroit Free Press 2015 Truck of the Year
Detroit News 2015 Vehicle of the Year
AAA Top Pick 2015 Pickup Truck
Motor Trend's Truck Trend Magazine 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year
Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Truck and Best Buy Overall
Popular Science Automotive Grand Award Winner Best of What's New
Texas Auto Writers Association Truck of Texas
Texas Auto Writers Association Luxury Pickup Truck
Texas Auto Writers Association Full-Size Pickup Truck
Texas Auto Writers Association Best Technology Feature for high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy
New England Motor Press Association Yankee Cup
Automotive Fleet Magazine 2014 Fleet Truck of the Year
Motor Press Guild 2014 Innovation Vehicle of the Year Over $30K
AutoGuide 2015 Reader's Choice Truck of the Year
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada 2015 Best New Pickup Truck
New Car Test Drive 2015 Truck of the Year
Ruedas ESPN Best Full-Size Pickup Truck

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