CLAYCOMO, Mo.-- One hundred years ago when Henry Ford introduced the moving assembly line, seven vehicles were made a day at the Winchester Ford Plant in Kansas City. Today, Ford says one vehicle per second is manufactured at the Claycomo plant and the automaker says its expanding production worldwide.
Currently four different models of the Ford F-150 truck are made at the Kansas City plant, but soon the Ford Transit will be ramping up production outside Europe for the first time ever. For 50 years the commercial van or wagon has been made in Europe but with recent improvements in KC, the Claycomo plant can now produce close to 2,700 different models of the vehicle.
"The different types of style and models we can build with that go well behind the four different models of the assembly plant," said Dan Joiski, plant manager. "It will be the most complex assembly operation we will have in North America."
Monday's announcement by Ford spells out the global expansion set to take place by 2017 calling it the largest manufacturing expansion in 50 years. Ford says it will increase operations with eight new assembly plants and six new powertrain plants and retain 130,000 employees around the world.
Locally, Ford added about 950 employees for a third shift for pre-production of the Transit. Jowiski says hiring will continue in January and continue through the summer adding about another 1,000 employees for production of the Transit.