Ford To Add 2,000 Jobs, Invest $1.3B in Louisville’s Kentucky Truck Plant

(Photo by: Sam VarnHagen)

Ford Motor Co. will create 2,000 jobs and invest $1.3 billion at its Kentucky Truck Plant (KTP) in Louisville to produce all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty trucks. The investment follows more than $200 million in retooling and expansions at KTP and the company’s Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP), which collectively created 1,000 jobs since January 2014. Ford currently employs about 9,300 workers at its two Kentucky plants.

Ford’s switch to advanced materials for Super Duty, including high-strength aluminum-alloy bodies, saves up to 350 pounds per vehicle. The change reflects wider industry adoption of weight-saving technology to increase capability, performance and fuel economy.

“With the introduction of the all-new Ford Super Duty, America’s best-selling heavy-duty pickup, we expect to continue growing our truck leadership,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Through this investment, we are continuing to show our commitment to Kentucky and city of Louisville, as well as bringing to customers industry-leading trucks to help them take care of business and earn a living.”

Ford’s investment and job growth at KTP come as part of incentives approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January 2014. At that time KEDFA amended the company’s approval for tax incentives through the Kentucky Jobs Retention Act for up to $290 million. However, with this announcement Ford has drastically surpassed its job-creation estimate and nearly doubled its projected investment.

Joe Hinrichs, (right) executive vice and president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announce Ford’s $1.3 billion investment. (Photo by: Sam VarnHagen)

“This tremendous investment and commitment to new job creation reconfirms the strength of a more than century-long relationship between Kentucky and the Ford Motor Company,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “We wholeheartedly appreciate Ford’s continued confidence in the Commonwealth’s workforce and pro-business environment, and we look forward to expanding our relationship in the future.”

KTP opened in 1969 and currently produces F-250 to F-550 Super Duty pickup and Chassis Cab trucks, as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. Ford’s LAP plant opened in 1955 and produces the Lincoln MKC and Ford Escape. The company’s Kentucky relationship dates to 1913 when it opened a plant in Louisville to produce the Model T.

The latest investment at KTP will cover costs of an all-new body shop, facility upgrades and retooling for production of the 2017 Super Duty trucks. The trucks will use an all-new high-strength steel frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy bodies for the first time, a move that follows the company’s switch a year ago to aluminum bodies on its top-selling F-150 pickups.

Kentucky ranks first in per-capita vehicle production nationally and third by production volume overall. The commonwealth is home to 480 automotive-related facilities employing more than 89,000 people.

Complementing Kentucky’s automotive sector, the commonwealth also holds a major stake in the U.S. aluminum industry with more than 150 facilities – from smelters and mills to manufacturers of end-user goods – which employ more than 18,000 people.

“The Ford Motor Company and the City of Louisville have both come a long way since Ford started making Model T’s at the corner of Third and Breckinridge in 1913 and with this investment, it’s clear that there’s no limit to how far we can go together,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We thank Ford for their commitment to our city and our workforce and look forward to seeing the Louisville-made 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty pickups driving across the new bridges before long.”

Ford is also eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.