Ford Motor Co. said today (Sept. 15) by year end it will add 1,200 jobs and a second shift to build the Transit commercial van at a plant in Missouri, making it the automaker’s largest volume factory globally.
Reuters reported that strong demand for the vans, which began production in April as a replacement for the E-Series, drove the decision to add the shift, Ford said. The expansion is covered, however, by the company’s $1.1 billion investment in 2011, a company spokeswoman said.
The additional jobs will push employment at the plant, which also builds the full-size F-150 pickup trucks, to more than 6,000 people. Ford added 2,800 jobs at the plant in the Kansas City suburb of Claycomo, Mo., in 2013 and 2012 to support the 2015 Transit launch and increased production of the F-150.
Ford has said it introduced the Transit in North America in part to save costs by sharing design and engineering work around the globe. Introduced in Europe in 1965, the Transit has been the top-selling commercial van in Britain for 49 years and it is sold in 118 countries on six continents.
The 2015 Transit went on sale in the United States in June and demand hit about 500 in July and almost 1,100 in August for a year-to-date total of just over 2,000.
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