Since late last year, The Ford Motor Company has been making preparations to manufacture its all-new line of full-size Transit vans. In doing so, the automaker is welcoming roughly 1,000 new employees to its Kansas City Assembly Plant, where the Transit will be built.
The Transit is the successor to Ford’s popular E-Series line of vans. It introduces an all-new vehicle architecture to the North American market, one that has been wildly successful in Europe, and one that aims to take flexibility and capability among vans to new levels, while also delivering superior fuel efficiency.
Notably, the North American launch of the Transit this summer is part of a monumental year for The Blue Oval. The automaker is planning to launch 16 new products in North America and 23 new products around the world in 2014, representing a three-fold increase in the number of new products Ford launched last year in North America.
Initially, the 2015 Transit will be manufactured concurrently with the E-Series, but will eventually replace it entirely. To prepare for the production launch of the Transit at Kansan City — which includes retooling the plant, 300 employees started work at the facility in late 2013, an additional 300 began working the week of January 6, and 400 more are joining in this week. The 1,000 employees are part of over 2,000 jobs that have been added at the facility to meet growing demand for Ford trucks and to launch production of the Transit. Ford’s decision to produce the Transit at the Kansas City plant represents a $1.1 billion investment in the facility, which is also home to the 2014 F-150 — America’s best-selling vehicle and pickup truck.
Additionally, Ford will commence building the all-new 2015 F-150 at the plant in the first quarter of 2015. All this has led to an increase in jobs at the plant of over 35 percent year-over-year, with 3,400 employees in 2013. For also announced the hiring of an additional 175 employees at Kansas City by March for Transit production, meaning that over 4,600 employees will report for work at the plant by March. In fact, the hiring of the new employees put Ford Motor Company on the top 10 list of Missouri employers.
But Ford isn’t making an impact on the local economy by directly hiring employees; its expansion in the area, highlighted by the decision to build the Transit in Kansas City, will result in nearly 275 suppliers nationally and six suppliers locally growing their businesses through job creation and manufacturing investment. In other words, The Blue Oval’s activities are creating jobs directly for itself as well as for its partners.
The Motrolix Take
We usually know a good thing when we see one… and this is most definitely it. It’s important to keep in mind that the highly-positive investments and job creation figures seen above are the direct result of Ford bringing a global product to the U.S. Part of Ford’s global One Ford strategy, the Transit is a better van from any point of view, and we expect demand for the segment, as well as for the Transit, to grow rapidly when the Transit launches.