Located in Chicago’s south side, the plants’ expansion is necessary to increase capacity for the three SUVs and will be completed in the spring. The additional workers will bring the two plants’ total to approximately 5,800.
Among the changes, a new body shop and paint shop will be added to Chicago Assembly along with major modifications to the final assembly area, while the stamping plant sees the addition of another stamping line. An abundance of new high-tech tools are also being added to improve quality. For the workers themselves, $40 million is being spent to improve cafeterias, break areas and parking lot security among other elements.
Ford was keen to point out in its announcement that the Chicago Assembly expansion will increase its position as “the No. 1 producer of vehicles in the U.S. and the leading exporter of vehicles from the U.S., building 2.4 million in 2018, and (employing) the most hourly U.S. autoworkers.”
In less politically motivated statements, it also pointed out that Chicago Assembly is the company’s longest continually operating vehicle assembly plant, having started producing Model T’s in 1924.