Ford is making a new, massive investment in American manufacturing with a commitment to pour $3.7 billion into factories across the Midwest.
The money will be used to hire 6,200 union jobs -- including moving 3,000 part-time workers to full time -- across auto pants in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri, the company said.
Part of the spending will support Ford's plans to have the capacity to build 2 million electric vehicles annually by 2026. But some of the cash will also be used to bulk up the company's existing fossil-fueled powered cars and trucks.
“Ford is America’s Number 1 employer of hourly autoworkers, and this investment only deepens our commitment to building great new vehicles – from an all-new Mustang to new EVs – right here in the U.S. in partnership with the UAW,” said Bill Ford, executive chair of Ford, in a statement. “I am proud that we are investing in the Midwest and taking real action to provide better benefits and working conditions for our workers on the plant floor.”
The big boost for union jobs -- and the announcement ahead of the expiration date for the current contract with the United Auto Workers union -- speaks to the power and potential of the electric vehicle industry to remake and reinvigorate American manufacturing.
It also speaks more broadly to the opportunity that sustainable innovations have to add jobs to the American workforce.
“We’re investing in American jobs and our employees to build a new generation of incredible Ford vehicles and continue our Ford+ transformation,” said Ford President and CEO Jim Farley, in a statement. “Transforming our company for the next era of American manufacturing requires new ways of working, and together with UAW leadership, we are leading the way and moving fast to make improvements to benefits for our hourly employees and working conditions for our factory teams.”
Ford committed to invest $1 billion each year over the next five years to improve the work environment for its employees.
Ford's moves come as Tesla, the leading US electric vehicle manufacturer, continues to be embroiled in workplace scandals.
“In many ways, Ford is America’s automaker and our relationship with the UAW is essential to our success,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Ford Blue. “Our frontline manufacturing employees are the key to delivering what our customers want more of – amazing new electric vehicles like the F-150 Lightning as well as must-have internal combustion-powered vehicles like the forthcoming all-new Mustang coupe.”
Ford plans to invest $2 billion in Michigan for the development of three assembly plants that are making the company's new F-150 Lightning, the new Ranger pickup, and a new Mustang coupe. In Ohio, Ford intends to spend $1.5 billion to build out capacity for its commercial electric van and its existing transmission manufacturing business. Finally, in Missouri Ford is earmarking $95 million for additional capacity to make its electric van. “We are thrilled that Ford is advancing its long legacy in Michigan by investing $2 billion to create 3,200 good-paying UAW jobs,” said Michigan Governor. Gretchen Whitmer, in a statement. “I am proud that we came together to deliver economic development legislation that has helped us land huge projects creating thousands of jobs. With this announcement, Michigan has added nearly 25,000 auto jobs since I took office, and we continue to lead the future of mobility and electrification. Let’s continue in this spirit of collaboration to keep growing our economy, creating jobs, and advancing the future of mobility and electrification.”