Just days after President Trump bragged about job creation and economic growth in his State of the Union speech, Ford has made an epic announcement. The company plans to add jobs in its Chicago factory and increase the production of Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles. Their new expansion will cost the company an estimated $1 billion.
While this is good news for domestic production, it means the company will be downsizing global production. The sedans and sports cars simply aren’t driving sales and steady gas prices, combined with more fuel efficient engines, are helping to boost the sales of trucks and SUVs.
“The move will add 500 jobs at Ford’s Chicago-area Assembly and Stamping plants,” CNBC writes, “bringing the total number of employees at the two factories to 5,800, the company said Thursday. Ford is building a new body shop and paint shop at the assembly plants and plans to make major changes to the final assembly area. The company also plans to install some new manufacturing technology, including 3D-printing tools and robots.”
Ford is also investing in their workers. The updated facilities will include better lighting, and new cafeterias. They’re also sinking money into parking lot security, too.
There is a hidden downside for some Ford employees, though. This increase in Chicago may be a sign of reductions in other domestic plants. “Ford is undergoing an $11 billion restructuring that will shrink its salaried workforce of 70,000,” CNBC adds. “It is also cutting thousands of jobs in Europe, where Ford has struggled to maintain solid footing.”
Still, Ford’s outlook is strong. Anticipation is high for several new releases. 2019 marks the return of the Ford Ranger. They’re slated to bring back the Bronco, as well. And industry experts believe they may have an electric F150 in the works.
General Motors, one of the company’s biggest competitors, is having to trim the fat. They’re eliminating jobs in the US and Canada. Salaried workers are being replaced with hourly employees.
GM has too much production space for their current demand, and have not been able to pivot with the market. As such, they’re scaling back on sedan, too, and hoping they can keep up with the national trend that seems to favor the larger vehicles.