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Ford moving Explorer production to Chicago

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 12:56 PM EST.(Employee News)

Ford Motor Co. officials said Monday that the company is shifting production of the next-generation Explorer SUV from Louisville to its Torrence Avenue assembly plant in Chicago by year’s end, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The move will mean 1,200 new jobs and a second production shift at the South Side facility, while it also will bolster operations at Ford’s stamping plant in Chicago Heights, Ill., according to officials, the paper said. “We’ll essentially be doubling the workforce at the assembly plant when this production goes in,” Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans told the Tribune.

Expected to be unveiled in the summer and rolled out in the fourth quarter, the downsized and more fuel-efficient Explorer shares a platform with the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS, which will continue to be built at the 86-year-old Torrence Avenue facility, the paper said. Ford is investing about $180 million directly into its oldest assembly plant, which churned out Model T’s in the 1920s. The Chicago plant underwent a $400 million modernization in 2004 and employs about 1,200 workers, the story said. (Chicago Tribune)
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