Ford will be adding 350 jobs at two factories to meet the anticipated demand for electric vehicles that have yet to be on sale, according to an Associated Press article. The automaker says it will add 200 workers that will be hired at Ford’s Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, which will build an all-electric F-150 pickup starting in mid-2022.
Another 150 workers will be added to its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, to build the new E-Transit full-size van that will go on sale late 2021, according to the article.
Also, Ford says it will invest $100 million in the Kansas City plant for an assembly line that will build the electric vans. Ford President of the Americas Kumar Galhotra says the company expects” strong demand” for the vans as many package delivery companies try to reduce their carbon footprints, the article added.
The company also anticipates high demand for the electric pickup. Galhotra noted that production forecasts will be released later. Demand for the electric pickup was higher than expected after it was announced in September, Galhotra said in the article interview. “We immediately started working on increasing the capacity of the plant,” he added in the story. “We need more people to assemble the vehicles.” Ford will reveal details of the E-Transit electric van on Thursday. The company says these are early investments in the first phase of its plan to build more electric vehicles.
Ford representatives said in the article that it will invest $11.5 billion in electric vehicle factories through 2022. Ford also announced today that it will spend about $150 million at a transmission plant in Sterling Heights, to make electric motors and transaxles for new electric vehicles, the article said. No new jobs will be added but the investment will help keep 225 positions. In addition to the Kansas City and Michigan plants, Ford will build electric vehicles and components in Oakville, Ontario, and Cuautitlan, Mexico, the company added. Also, more factories will be added as future vehicles are announced, it stated.
According to the article, analysts expect EV sales to grow as more new models go on sale.
In 2019, automakers sold just over 236,000 fully electric vehicles, up 36% from 2018, the article stated. That number, though, is just 1.4% of all new vehicles sold nationwide.
“This is just the first chapter with more new electric vehicles and more investment to come,” Galhotra said.