Ford plans to create 6,200 jobs in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri

AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) – Ford will add 6,200 jobs to plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio in preparation for …

AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) – Ford will add 6,200 jobs to plants in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio in preparation for more electric vehicles and the release of two redesigned models of internal combustion engines.

The company says it will invest $ 3.7 billion in these three states by 2026. It will also translate about 3,000 temporary workers into full-time status with increased wages and benefits.

The plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, near Cleveland, will be expanded to allow construction of a new unidentified electric commercial vehicle with 1,800 new jobs. Ninety more jobs will be added in Lima and Sharonville, Ohio.

The plant in Claycombe, Missouri, near Kansas City, which produces large Transit electric vans and internal combustion engines, will receive a third shift of 1,100 workers to meet increased demand.

In Michigan, Ford Motor Co. plans to create 2,000 jobs at three assembly plants and another 1,200 at other plants.

The Detroit Wayne suburb, where the mid-range Ranger pickup is now produced, will have investment and jobs to produce the new Ranger. The plant in Flat Rock south of Detroit will produce a new version of the Mustang mascara. Ford’s Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn will also see investment and jobs so it can build more F-150 Lightning electric pickups to meet unexpectedly high demand. The company will also add 600 jobs at a new parts packaging plant in Monroe, Michigan, and another 600 at several component manufacturing plants in Michigan.

This is part of Ford’s plan to produce 2 million electric vehicles a year worldwide by 2026.

Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue, a division of the company that makes internal combustion vehicles, said investment in electric transportation is needed in part because Ford has underestimated demand for EVs.

As soon as Ford opened the booking of the electric F-150, it began planning to expand the plant in Dearborn that produces them, he said. “The bookings were much higher than the (production) capacity we put in,” Galhotra said. “This is the first time in my career that we have expanded the plant before it was built.”

Ford has stopped booking F-150 Lightning for 200,000, and now it is converting bookings into orders. About two-thirds of those we contacted go to the envelope, but the company said it did not have an exact number. In addition, the Mustang Mach-E SUV and E-Transit vans sold out in a year, Galhotra said.

Like other carmakers, Ford is finding it engaging workers to build both internal combustion and electric vehicles as the industry shifts to battery power, said Christine Dichek, a policy adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago who oversees the industry.

Although research shows that automakers will need fewer workers to build electric vehicles because there are fewer moving parts, that doesn’t necessarily mean big layoffs in the future, Dicek said. Automakers are producing many of their own parts for EVs, such as axles and electric motors in North America, to avoid disruptions in pandemic-related supply chains abroad, creating new jobs. In addition, workers will retire during the transition period over the next decade, Dicek said.

“There are so many moving parts,” she said. “It’s hard to say what the employment rate should be.”

Automakers are turning temporary workers into full-time workers with higher pay to attract entry-level workers during the recent labor shortage, Dicek said.

Ford will not give details of a commercial EV that will be built at an assembly plant in Ohio until the middle of the decade. Most of his life the factory was on the verge of closure, but managed to survive. Galhotra says he now has a bright future.

News of the expansion could not have come earlier for Cody Newsom, a qualified apprentice trade trader at a factory that now produces large vans and trucks.

He hopes the company will get him back to work as he creates more space and adds workers. “It’s very important to us because it’s a long-term investment,” said Newsom, a 28-year-old third-generation Ford employee. “This is not a small project. So job security is huge. ”

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this day,” said Jason Williams, a union spokesman at the plant. “We are trying to secure a future for our children, our families, the families of society.”

Ohio is offering Ford about $ 200 million in incentives, while Michigan is contributing about $ 150 million. Although there will be little investment in Missouri, there are no incentives for this project.

Ford has said it has already started transferring temporary workers full-time and is starting to hire new workers.

The announcement came a year before negotiations began on contracts with the United Automobile Workers’ Union. Announcements of new products and vacancies are usually part of the negotiations.

Ford’s decision last year to build three battery plants and one new assembly plant in Kentucky and Tennessee has raised questions about the company’s manufacturing commitments in its home state and region.

Michigan politicians worked hard to bring in General Motors ’electric and battery assembly plants in January following the loss of Ford’s plants in the southern states.

Ford is likely to build a fourth North American battery plant in the Great Lakes region in a joint venture with SK Innovation of Korea, but Galhotra said he is not yet ready to make a statement.

At the same pace that Ford is moving with the EV, more production will be needed, Galhotra said, pointing to a site in Michigan where an electric F-150 and a commercial EV to be built in Ohio are being built. “We will have more ads,” he said.

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Crisher reported from Detroit.

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