Ford Boosts Louisville Plant with $129 Million, 300 More Workers

Aug 26, 2014 04:30 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

Ford recently invested $129 million into its Louisville, Ky., plant to boost production of the Lincoln MKC and Ford Escape.

In the hopes of rejuvenating the Lincoln luxury brand, the automaker has added 300 workers to the Louisville facility, the Associated Press reported. With the new hires, the hourly workforce at the plant is now at around 4,700.  

The MKC began selling in May and is the second of four all-new Lincoln models slated to be rolled out by 2016.

"We think it's going to be a very strong competitor in the premium small utility segment, which is the fastest-growing luxury segment on the globe right now," said John Savona, Ford's director of manufacturing, as quoted by the AP.

The Louisville Assembly Plant, which formerly built Explorers but was renovated to the tune of $600 million in 2010, is one of Ford's biggest production facilities and allows for the simultaneous assembly of multiple models without needing to close for tooling changes.

Once the bestselling luxury brand in the country, Lincoln slipped from the top spot about two decades ago. Four years ago, Ford started outlining a plan to bring back the Lincoln brand. Since then, the company has launched the redesigned MKZ sedan and the new MKC under the Lincoln name.

Early sales of the MKC have been promising, totaling 2,895 vehicles through July, according to the automaker.

"It's our fastest-turning vehicle right now, sitting on a dealer lot an average of 11 days," Savona said.

Ford additionally announced this week the start of a two-month overhaul to prepare a Michigan plant for production of the new aluminum-bodied F-150.

The last 2014 F-150 to be built at the Dearborn plant was put together on Aug. 22, and Ford crew members have started getting the plant ready for new equipment. Some 1,100 trucks will come into the factory to deliver the new tools needed to manufacture an aluminum F-150, a company representative said.

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