WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it is investing more than $1 billion in its Chicago operations and adding 500 jobs as it prepares to launch three new SUVs this year.
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Ford said it is building a new body shop and paint shop at its Chicago Assembly plant, and making major modifications to the final assembly area. At Chicago Stamping, Ford is adding stamping lines, the company added.
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The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker is eager to highlight that it is building more vehicles than its rivals do in the United States. Ford built nearly 2.4 million vehicles in the United States in 2018 and employs the most hourly U.S. auto workers.
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“We are furthering our commitment to America with this billion-dollar manufacturing investment in Chicago and 500 more good-paying jobs,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations.
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By contrast, General Motors Co announced in November it would halt production at five plants in North America, including four in Michigan, Ohio and Maryland, as it cuts about 15,000 jobs. That will result in the loss of 2,800 U.S. hourly positions, but GM has said it expects to have enough open jobs at other plants to ensure all hourly workers can transfer.
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Ford said last month it will slash “thousands” of jobs in Europe as part of an overhaul that could result in plant closures and the discontinuation of some models.