Ford has hired nearly 400 more workers than it previously said it would need in order to make the redesigned Edge crossover in Canada.
Since 2014, Ford has added 1,400 hourly workers at its Oakville Assembly production facility, near Toronto, Ford announced this week. The automaker's original plan called for 1,000 new jobs as part of a $700 million Canadian ($563 million U.S.) investment in preparation for the 2015 Edge.
The new five-passenger vehicle is already on sale at a number of different North American dealerships. It will soon be exported to China, Western Europe and new overseas markets, according to a Ford release.
"The all-new Ford Edge is a true global vehicle and a showcase of Ford's product excellence," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a company statement. "Thanks to the new capabilities at Oakville Assembly, the 2015 Edge delivers improved driving dynamics, quality, quietness, interior space and even more technology, and we are proud for our Canadian team to start bringing Edge to customers in even more markets around the world."
The news differs from Ford's stream of recent job cuts in Canada's manufacturing industries. Ford's Oakville plant, which is its only remaining vehicle assembly plant in Canada, now employs nearly 4,500 people who make the Edge, Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT.
Ford will start production of a redesigned Lincoln MKX later this year.
The Canadian and Ontario governments provided 20 percent of the automaker's investment in the facility.
"The new global Edge is an excellent and timely indication that Canada's auto industry is poised to excel in coming years," Jerry Dias, the national president of Unifor, which includes the former Canadian Auto Workers union, said in the automaker's release. "This new vehicle is great news for the company and its workers, and good news for all Canadians who benefit from a strong auto industry and the revenue it generates."
Plant upgrades will include new robots to apply urethane to glass in a way that reduces wind noise, to install panels, hoods and doors more "uniformly" and make seams in the roof stronger.
A simulation classroom was also created to train the 1,400 new workers.
Since the jobs are being added in Canada, Ford won't have to give raises to any U.S. workers earning second-tier wages.