Wednesday 4 February 2015

1,550 jobs boost for Ford F-150

Ford is adding 1,550 new jobs to its Kansas City Assembly, Dearborn Stamping, Dearborn Diversified and Sterling Axle facilities to meet growing demand for the 2015 F-150.

New manufacturing processes have called for the overhaul of both Dearborn Truck and Kansas City Assembly facilities.

Combined, the two plants will have capacity to produce more than 700,000 trucks a year for availability in 90 markets globally.

Dearborn Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan saw its largest manufacturing transformation in decades wherein legacy manufacturing equipment was replaced with the latest in production technology.

Changeover at the facility was completed last autumn. The Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri  is currently undergoing a similar renovation scheduled to be complete in early 2015. It is claimed Ford lost 90,000 trucks in the 13 weeks required to retool the two plants.

In January, Ford F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004; F-150 sits just 12 days on dealer lots before being sold  – turning faster than any other Ford vehicle. It is even being claimed that high-end models like the Platinum and the King Ranch are selling out in 10 days. A truck can spend up to 70 days on a new-car lot before being sold. Sources claim Ford sold 54,370 F-Series trucks in January - 17 per cent up from the same period of 2014. Sources add that 18 per cent of these sales were for the new 2015 F-150.

                                             Pay rise for workers

As part of Ford’s commitment in the 2011 UAW-Ford collective bargaining agreement, approximately 300 to 500 workers – the first group of “new traditional” employees – will transition in the first quarter, based on attrition and growth, from their entry-level wage of $19.28 an hour to their new wage of $28.50 an hour.

The majority of these employees work at Kansas City, Chicago and Louisville assembly facilities. 

The entry-level agreement has enabled Ford to invest more than $6.2 billion in its US plants and hire more than 15,000 hourly UAW members – up from the 12,000 jobs that were promised by 2015 in the contract agreement.

As Ford ramps up production of the all-new F-150, the company has announced it will add 1,550 new jobs across its Kansas City Assembly, Dearborn Stamping, Dearborn Diversified and Sterling Axle facilities in the first quarter of 2015.

The new jobs will support production and growing customer demand for the recently launched 2015 Ford F-150.

“Thanks to stronger than expected customer demand, we’re adding 1,550 new workers to support additional F-150 production,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “These jobs are further proof that customers recognize the all-new F-150 as the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever. We sell every truck we can build, and we plan to build more.”

Of the 1,550 new jobs, 900 are allocated for Kansas City Assembly Plant and 500 will be added between Dearborn Stamping Plant and Dearborn Diversified Plant, with the remaining 150 jobs going to the Sterling Axle Plant.

These jobs are in addition to the more than 5,000 hourly jobs Ford added across its US manufacturing facilities in 2014. 

“This is very exciting news and these additional jobs will have an impact in communities all across our nation,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department. “This also represents a major milestone for employees hired under the entry level agreement, as many will now begin to convert to ‘new traditional’ wage status, as negotiated in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.”

Ford claims the entry-level agreement negotiated as part of UAW-Ford collective bargaining has helped improve the company’s competitiveness.

The all-new F-150 boasts a military-grade, aluminium-alloy truck body and high-strength steel frame, and sheds up to 700lb to create a lighter, more efficient truck than any previous F-150.

These weight savings lead to customer benefits regardless of model configuration or engine choice.

The innovative new truck has the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market. When equipped with an available 2.7-litre EcoBoost engine (the first high-volume gasoline engine with a compacted graphite iron - CGI - vee cylinder block), the new F-150 4x2 has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 mile/gal city, 26 mile/gal highway and 22 mile/gal combined. Actual mileage may vary.

To manufacture the all-new Ford F-150, the truck team designed an innovative process that includes the latest in advanced materials and in forming and joining technologies, including the Britain’s Henrob self-piercing rivet (SPR) technology.  

The F-150 is part of Ford's F-Series pick-up trucks, celebrating its 38th straight year as America’s best-selling truck and 33rd straight year as America’s best-selling vehicle. Ford sold 753,851 trucks in 2014.

In January, Ford F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004, which was the company’s best sales year for the F-150 ever. Total truck sales for January 2015 were 140,686 compared with 120,428 a year ago - a rise of 16.8 per cent. Chrysler Rams sales were 14.1 per cent higher at 28,618. units. Combined sales of General Motors Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra totalled 48,727 units against 40,044 in January 2014 - a rise of 21.6 per cent - a higher percentage rise compared with the F-Series growth of 16.8 per cent to 54,370. The F-Series share of the market in January at 38.6 per cent remains unchanged from the 38.6 per cent of January 2014.

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