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Amid cutbacks elsewhere, Ford to invest $1 billion in Chicago-area plants

Friday, Feb 8, 2019

* Tribune

Ford Motor Company said Thursday that it will invest $1 billion in its Chicago-area manufacturing operations to expand production of its Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles.

The announcement, made at the Chicago Auto Show, will add 500 jobs to two manufacturing facilities, the assembly plant and stamping plant, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. The expansion will bring the total number of workers at its Chicago-area facilities to 5,800.

The overhaul of the plant is expected to begin in March and be completed in the spring.

Included will be a new body shop and paint shop at Chicago Assembly, and new stamping lines that will make the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator.

* CNBC

It’s also spending $40 million to upgrade the facilities for employees, including new LED lighting and cafeteria updates, new break areas as well as parking lot security upgrades.

In addition to the Explorer and Aviator, the plants make Ford’s Police Interceptor, an SUV modeled on the Explorer.

Ford is undergoing an $11 billion restructuring that will shrink its salaried workforce of 70,000. It is also cutting thousands of jobs in Europe, where Ford has struggled to maintain solid footing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments »
  1. - unspun - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:21 am:

    We’re finally boomin’!


  2. - Colin O'Scopy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:22 am:

    Looks like Chicago really is becoming the next Detroit.


  3. - lake county democrat - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:27 am:

    Terrific news.


  4. - City Zen - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:29 am:

    I actually like the Aviator, something I haven’t felt about a Lincoln product since the 5th generation Continental.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    Thank the UAW, who insisted on upgrades at the Chicago plants in their last collective bargaining agreement with Ford.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting on that tronc edit praising them for it.


  6. - SSL - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    Those should be good jobs, and it gives JB something good to talk about.


  7. - Mr. B.A. - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    I thought Illinois was a bad place to do business in???


  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    “Worst economy, worst taxes, crippling taxes, companies won’t come here.”

    - a former Governor.

    Right? Exactly right.


  9. - Seats - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    A billion dollars is a big investment. We didn’t even have to give them big company charity like Foxconn in Wisconsin to get it?


  10. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    I guess all we needed was for Rauner to no longer not be in charge?


  11. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    I thought Illinois was a bad place to do business in???

    Lets not fire up the brass band quite yet.

    With all of the natural advantages Illinois has, we have are tied for #40 in unemployment rate and we are 46th in job creation.

    In the spirit of bipartisanship JB, why not pass some pro business reforms like workers comp reform or are you just paying lip service to the concept?

    Just increasing state spending, raising the minimum wage and taxes will not magically fix the Illinois economy, dismal job creation numbers and reduce our record outmigration.

    https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm


  12. - Giroud - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    Good news for Chicago. Too bad Ford is reducing around 25,000 jobs elsewhere.


  13. - Giroud - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    SSL, what did JB have to do with this? Nothing.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    ===what did JB have to do with this? Nothing.===

    Governors own.

    They own the good.

    They also own the bad.

    For better or worse…


  15. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    Lucky

    And yet he beat Rauner by 16 points. And what do you do? You keep spouting the same talking points you have for four years. The least you could do is make a little effort to come up with something different than the old Rauner go to “pro business reforms.”

    Try harder.


  16. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    ==what did JB have to do with this? Nothing.==

    Doesn’t matter. It happened while he was Governor. He’ll be blamed for the bad stuff so he also gets to brag about the good stuff. That’s the way it works at the top.


  17. - Chicagonk - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    Illinois is very fortunate that the two major auto plants in the state produce in demand SUVs.


  18. - Demoralized - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    I agree that it doesn’t mean everything is rainbows and roses but it is does provide an argument against those who continue to hysterically claim that Illinois is in some “death spiral” and that businesses are leaving left and right. It defeats their argument that businesses don’t want to expand or locate here.


  19. - Angry Republican - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    == Illinois is very fortunate that the two major auto plants in the state produce in demand SUVs.==

    Fixed it for you.

    Illinois is very fortunate that the UAW contract with Ford obligated them to add production at the Torrance Av plant.


  20. - City Zen - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    Chicago’s fortunes are based primarily on Ford’s decision a decade ago to switch the Explorer platform to the D3/D4 platform underlying the soon-to-be defunct Taurus, which was built in Chicago. Sometimes you roll with the market, sometimes the market rolls you.

    I wish Illinois got Subaru instead of Mitsubishi decades ago. Who would’ve predicted back then Subaru’s popularity today and Mitsu being a shell of a brand?


  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    Don’t look at this as beyond a single corporate decision. And we are thankful that Ford continues to invest in that area. The surround neighborhood is somewhat depressed, so the investment is really great.


  22. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    ==Who would’ve predicted back then Subaru’s popularity today and Mitsu being a shell of a brand?==

    Anybody who ever saw an IMIEV and a WRX parked next to each other, LOL.

    Rahm’s commitment to purchase two hundred new police interceptor Explorers on this news is a classic example of “You wash my back and I’ll wash yours” - smart thing to do, too bad he couldn’t sign up for more. I was always a “Ford Man”, but unfortunately, my last one didn’t treat me very well, it’s going to be awhile before I sign up for another one. The new RAV4 40 mpg AWD hybrid is looking pretty good to me right now.


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