The Ford Motor Co. will invest $1 billion to add more jobs to plants in the Chicago area expanding production of its redesigned Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sports utility vehicles.
CNBC reports that the American expansion will come as the automaker makes some substantial cuts overseas. Ford plans to shift its building philosophy to make more SUVs, crossover-utility vehicles and trucks. It will stop making as many sedans and sports cars, which are no longer as popular with American consumers.
The construction at new stamping lines that will make the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator.
The move will add 500 jobs at Ford’s Chicago-area Assembly and Stamping plants, bringing its total employee base at the two factories to 5,800, the company said on Thursday.
Ford also is constructing a new paint and body shop at the assembly plans and plans to make other major changes to its final assembly area. The company also said it would install new manufacturing technology like robots and 3D-printing tools.
It also announced $40 million in employee amenities at the plans, including new cafeteria, LED lighting in work areas, new break rooms as well as parking lot security upgrades.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the overhaul of the plant will begin next month and should be completed during the spring.
Ford has been touting its new advertising slogan “Built Ford Proud” since the fall.
It looks like it’s determined to utilize American workers to get them there.