Ford Motor Company confirmed that it will build the full-size Transit van at its Kansas City Assembly Plant when the new product joins its North American lineup in 2013. The company is investing $1.1 billion—$700 million more than was previously announced—in a new body shop, new tooling in the Final Assembly Area, an upgraded paint shop and an all-new integrated stamping plant, which will be located on an adjacent property in Liberty, Mo.
A portion of the investment also will be used in the future to support next-generation F-150 pickup production at the plant.
Ford is investing $16 billion in its U.S. operations—including $6.2 billion in US plants—to design, engineer and produce more new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015.
The current SUV line at the Kansas City facility, which will be idled for re-tooling after the current Escape model is phased out in April, will re-open in 2013. During re-tooling, the plant will continue to build F-150 trucks. The company also plans to increase F-150 production at the facility, which will build the trucks on two shifts instead of one beginning in May.
Kansas City Assembly Plant is Ford’s fourth North American facility to be re-tooled to produce new vehicles that are part of the company’s balanced product portfolio of cars, utilities, trucks and commercial vehicles. Ford said that its commitment to install a new product line requiring this level of investment was enabled, in part, by the recent ratification of the new UAW-Ford Collective Bargaining Agreement.