Ford Set to Start Retooling Claycomo Plant for Transit Van

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CLAYCOMO, Mo. — The Escape-era is just about over at the Ford Claycomo Assembly Plant.

The automaker will be laying off workers at the end of the week as they prepare to retool the facility to produce the full-size Transit van.

According to Ford officials, the automaker will begin laying-off 1,100 to 1,200 employees at the end of the week. Ford says that the laid-off workers will receive 74 percent of their pay and full benefits during the layoff, which is expected to last from 12 to 18 months.

Ford says that they hope to have the facility ready to produce the Transit, one of the best-selling vehicles in Europe, in 2013. Production of the Ford Escape will be moved to Louisville, Kentucky.

As part of the retooling, Ford will expand the Claycomo plant from 4.8 million square feet to 5.2 million square feet, and build a new integrated stamping plant. Officials say that when the retooling is complete and production begins, a new Transit van will roll off the assembly line every 90 seconds.

Ford says that the retooling and layoffs will not affect production of the F-150 pickup truck, which is also built at the Claycomo plant.

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