Ford to invest $400 million in manufacturing new Explorer SUV

Ford to invest $400 million in manufacturing new Explorer SUV

"The company will add 1,200 new jobs to staff a second production shift at Chicago assembly plant and increase production at the nearby Chicago Stamping Plant. "Ford’s USD 400 million investment includes approximately USD 180 million in manufacturing investment at the Chicago sites and about USD 220 million for launch and engineering costs," Ford’s President of The Americas Mark Fields said on Tuesday.

In addition, Ford would also be making "significant investment" in supplier tooling to support next-generation Explorer production. The current Explorer and Explorer Sport Trac models are built at the company’s Louisville assembly plant in Kentucky.

Shifting production of the new Explorer to Chicago assembly paves the way for the Louisville assembly to undergo transformation to a flexible, fuel-efficient small car plant from a truck-based SUV plant.

The new Explorer will deliver at least 25 per cent better fuel economy than the current model. The vehicle would feature Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology and the company would provide full details about the new Explorer later in the year.

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