Ford adding 350 jobs at 2 plants to make electric vehicles

Ford adding 350 jobs at 2 plants to make electric vehicles
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson talks to a Ford representative outside Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo., in this Friday, May 15, 2020, file photo. Ford plans to add 350 jobs at two U.S. factories to meet expected demand for electric vehicles that haven't gone on sale yet. The automaker said Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, it will add 150 workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo to build the new E-Transit full-size van that will go on sale late next year. Another 200 workers will be hired at Ford's Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, which will build an all-electric F-150 pickup starting in mid-2022. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Ford plans to add 350 jobs at two factories to meet expected demand for electric vehicles that haven't gone on sale yet.

The automaker says it will add 150 workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, to build the new E-Transit full-size van that will go on sale late next year.

Another 200 workers will be hired at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, which will build an all-electric F-150 pickup starting in mid-2022.

In addition, Ford says it will invest $100 million in the Kansas City plant for an that will build the electric vans.

Ford President of the Americas Kumar Galhotra says the expects strong demand for the vans as many package delivery companies try to reduce their carbon footprints. The company also expects high demand for the electric pickup. Galhotra says production forecasts will be released later.

Demand for the electric pickup was higher than expected after it was announced in September, Galhotra said in an interview. "We immediately started working on increasing the capacity of the plant," he said. "We need more people to assemble the vehicles."

Ford will reveal details of the E-Transit electric van on Thursday.

Ford adding 350 jobs at 2 plants to make electric vehicles
A row of 2020 F-150 pickup trucks sits at a Ford dealership in Denver, in this Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, file photo. Ford plans to add 350 jobs at two factories to meet expected demand for electric vehicles that haven't gone on sale yet. The automaker says it will add 150 workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, to build the new E-Transit full-size van that will go on sale late next year. Another 200 workers will be hired at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, which will build an all-electric F-150 pickup starting in mid-2022. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

The company says these are early investments in the first phase of its plan to build more electric vehicles. Ford has said it will invest $11.5 billion in electric factories through 2022.

Ford also announced Tuesday that it will spend about $150 million at a transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, to make and transaxles for new electric vehicles. No new jobs will be added but the investment will help keep 225 positions.

In addition to the Kansas City and Michigan , Ford will build electric vehicles and components in Oakville, Ontario, and Cuautitlan, Mexico, the company said. But more factories will be added as future vehicles are announced, it said. "This is just the first chapter with more new electric vehicles and more investment to come," Galhotra said.

Ford's optimism about electric vehicles may be a little ahead of where U.S. buyers are, but analysts expect EV sales to grow as more new models go on sale. Last year, automakers sold just over 236,000 fully , up 36% from 2018. But that amounted to only 1.4% of all new vehicles sold in the country.


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