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BUSINESS REPORT: Missouri – Ford Invests $1.1 Billion In Kansas City Truck Plant Expansion

On May 02-2013, Ford Motor Company announced it would add a third crew and more than 2,000 jobs at the Kansas City Assembly Plant which builds the F-150. Ford will also start production of the Ford Transit in 2014 at the plant. (Photo: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.)

By Ed Feldman
From the July/August 2013 issue

Ford is adding more than 2,000 jobs at its Kansas City (MO) Assembly Plant to meet surging demand for the Ford F-150 and planned production of the all-new Ford Transit.

“Customer demand for today’s F-150 is strong and continues growing, the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry, the housing market is strengthening, and we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas, in a press release. “Our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150 is America’s favorite pickup, and we’re going to expand operations in Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand.”

Ford is adding 900 jobs and a third crew in the third quarter to build F-150s. U.S. sales of Ford’s F-Series trucks have increased almost 20 percent this year to date. Ford also is adding another 1,100 jobs starting in the fourth quarter to prepare for the introduction of the all-new Ford Transit full-size van in 2014.

The Kansas City Assembly Plant produces the Ford F-150 Regular, Super and Crew Cab and will produce the Ford Transit. The plant currently has 2,450 hourly workers working on two shifts and will add a third crew in the third quarter.

Ford is investing $1.1 billion to retool and expand the facility for production of both the F-150 and Transit, including a 437,000 sq.-ft. stamping facility and a 78,000 sq.-ft. paint shop.

The new stamping facility was completed in 2012. The paint shop expansion will include installation of the three-wet paint process, which is more environmentally friendly and requires less time than conventional paint processes—without compromising Ford’s paint quality or durability.

“Today we celebrate the commitment to excellence displayed every day by the men and women of Kansas City Assembly Plant,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department. “These additional jobs are the direct result of the dedicated effort our UAW members display every day at facilities all across the country and serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation’s manufacturing sector.”

With the investment and new jobs in Kansas City, Ford is three-quarters of the way to its plan to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015. The company also is investing $16 billion in its U.S. product development and manufacturing operations—including $6.2 billion in plant-specific investments. These actions, including today’s announcements, are consistent with Ford’s previous 2013 financial guidance for the Total Company and North America.

KANSAS CITY ASSEMBLY PLANT FACTS

PLANT FACTS

  • Hourly employees are represented by UAW Local 249
  • Kansas City Assembly Plant has received the Missouri Water
  • Environment Association Gold Award for 14 consecutive years for continual compliance with wastewater regulations
  • Kansas City Assembly Plant received the EPA’s Energy Award in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010

TRANSFORMATION

  • A $1.1 billion investment was announced in 2011 to support facility upgrades and retooling, including a 437,000-square-foot stamping facility and a 78,000-square-foot paint shop
  • The new stamping facility was built in 2012. The paint shop expansion will include installation of the three-wet paint processes, which is more environmentally friendly and requires less time than conventional paint processes—without compromise to Ford paint quality or durability

The plant expansion has a major impact in the local community and beyond. Kansas City Assembly has more than 250 suppliers nationally and more than 10 suppliers locally who will positively benefit from the addition of a third crew. Additionally, when Transit production starts next year, close to 275 suppliers nationally and six suppliers locally will grow their business. According to the job multiplier effect of nine jobs to every one–more than 18,000 jobs will be created to support the plant.

“[This] announcement is yet another testament to our successful efforts to revitalize Missouri’s automotive manufacturing industry, which continues to gain steam,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. “This third crew for production of the F-150 will create hundreds of additional manufacturing jobs for workers in this region and ensure Missouri continues to lead the rebirth of the American auto industry for years to come.”

According to Ford, the F-150 truck models have earned a 62 percent market share in road and highway maintenance; a 68 percent share in hazardous materials work; and a 67 percent share in the oil pipeline industry.

HOLLAND 1916 MOVING CORPORATE HQ TO LIBERTY

The Liberty Economic Development Corp. and the city of Liberty have announced that Holland 1916 Inc. will move its corporate headquarters to Liberty, MO. Holland has leased a 98,000-square-foot facility located at 2901 Heartland Drive in the Heartland Meadows Industrial Park.

The expansion project includes a capital investment of nearly $13 million and is expected to create 62 new jobs in Liberty. Holland expects to be operational in its new facility by August, according to a press release.

“We needed a facility that could accommodate future growth, provide a more attractive work environment for our current employees and become a centerpiece of future marketing efforts to new customers and new employees. After an extensive search, we determined that the Liberty facility best accomplished those goals,” said Holland CEO Mike Stradinger. “The city of Liberty and the state of Missouri were very helpful in the search process and provided attractive incentives that made the move possible.”

Mayor Lyndell Brenton said the city welcomes Holland 1916 as its newest community partner and looks forward to a strong, sustained and mutually beneficial relationship.

“By partnering with the state, LEDC and the city of Liberty, our community is able to succeed in a competitive marketplace to attract new business,” Brenton said.

To assist Holland 1916 with its expansion, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the city of Liberty and LEDC developed a strategic economic incentive package the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.

“This move signifies a lot of effort and collaboration among many partners including LEDC, the city and the state,” said Rick McDowell, LEDC executive director. “LEDC is pleased to welcome Holland 1916 Inc., along with the 62 new jobs it brings to Liberty.”

Holland 1916 is a private company that is corporate parent for five manufacturing companies:

  • Holland Integrated Metal Solutions, a manufacturer of operator cabins, consoles, electromechanical assemblies and printed panels; serves customers in the oil and gas industry;
  • Holland Interfaces Solutions, a manufacturer of custom membrane switches, touchscreens and other man-machine interface assemblies; serves customers in the industrial controls, food service, medical and fitness markets;
  • Osprey Evaporation Technologies, a manufacturer of industrial wastewater evaporators; serves customers in the landfill, oil and gas and other industrial markets;
  • Holland Nameplate, a manufacturer of industrial nameplates, data plates, tags and printed metal products; serves original equipment manufacturers;
  • Holland RFID, a manufacturer of durable RFID tags; serves customers who need to track assets in harsh environments.

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